The Racket I Want to Get Into

Cup and a half of broth: $0.35*

Slice or two of onion:  $0.27*

Small piece of stale French bread: $0.19*

Slice of Cheese: $1.00* (Gruyère), $0.18* (swiss)

Other ingredients and heat: $0.45*

Cost of French Onion soup at the restaurant: $6.95*.

 *all prices completely made up by me

Now that’s a racket I want to get into.

I’ve made French Onion soup once before. At the table while eating it my wife asked me my thoughts and I replied, it would be easier to open a can and possibly just as good. This recipe was better than that and now that I have a mandolin to thinly slice four onions quickly, the recipe was not too much of a pain.

Photo Jan 06, 12 01 18 PM

Who doesn’t like gooey melted cheese?

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Quite a bit of broth.

Photo Jan 06, 10 47 30 AM

The thinly sliced onions cooking down.

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With the liquids added.

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In the crocks.

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With toasted bread.

Photo Jan 06, 11 58 57 AM

And cheese for melting.

Photo Jan 06, 12 01 14 PM


French Onion Soup Gratinee

Prep Time: 15 m | Cook Time: 1 h 15 m | Makes: 4 servings


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 (48 fluid ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 thick slices French or Italian bread
  • 8 slices Gruyère or Swiss cheese slices, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shredded Asiago or mozzarella cheese, room temperature
  • 4 pinches paprika


Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in salt, red onions and sweet onions. Cook 35 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized and almost syrupy.

Mix chicken broth, beef broth, red wine and Worcestershire sauce into pot. Bundle the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf with twine and place in pot. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard the herbs. Reduce the heat to low, mix in vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep over low heat to stay hot while you prepare the bread.

Preheat oven broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet and broil 3 minutes, turning once, until well toasted on both sides. Remove from heat; do not turn off broiler.

Arrange 4 large oven safe bowls or crocks on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill each bowl 2/3 full with hot soup. Top each bowl with 1 slice toasted bread, 2 slice Gruyère cheese and 1/4 of the Asiago or mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle a little bit of paprika over the top of each one.

Broil 5 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. As it softens, the cheese will cascade over the sides of the crock and form a beautifully melted crusty seal. Serve immediately!

PREP 15 mins

COOK 1 hr

READY IN 1 hr 15 mins

Nutritional Info:

Calories 618 kcal 31% Carbohydrates 39.5 g 13% Cholesterol 114 mg 38% Fat 35.9 g 55% Fiber 4.2 g 17% Protein 29.7 g 59% Sodium 3433 mg 137%


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: appetizer, French, Lunch2, Side Dish, Soup and Stew, Vegetable2

Author:The Ranting Chef

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12 Comments on “The Racket I Want to Get Into”

  1. April 28, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    Looks perfect.


  2. gemini232006
    April 28, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Make your own broth from leftover Scraps of Vegetables and such. And you would make even more money off the dish lol


  3. April 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Yum! One of my favourite soups.


  4. April 28, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    Looks too good to eat! Yum!


  5. April 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    Wow I love French onion soup this looks delicious!


  6. April 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    At a restaurant, you are also paying for expert precision, bread that, though day old, was probably made in house, sometimes locally sourced produce, and don’t forget presentation and ambiance. For most people, there are plenty of times having someone else cook (and CLEAN) for you, the immediate gratification of saving yourself the time and trouble, is well worth that $7.

    It may or may not taste any better than homemade, but it’s a rarity that I find a restaurant French Onion soup constitutes a “racket”

    That being said, for those of us who actually enjoy the process, you are absolutely right. It’s well worth it to make your own!


  7. eatwilmington
    April 29, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    It is largely the labor and facility that one pays for at a restaurant, not the ingredients of a given dish (though food cost is a menu pricing consideration). Hopefully, at restaurants that charge more, you are also paying for some culinary expertise that results in a great meal on your plate. Cooking at home is most often my preference, too, but I am happy to pay for someone else to prepare and serve me a delicious meal when it is in my budget! Thanks for sharing your recipe.


  8. P.S. I Love Soap Co.
    April 29, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    That looks so Yummy I’ll be right over…LoL:)


  9. April 29, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    Looks delicioius!


  10. April 30, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    Looks yummy!


  11. May 4, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    Hello Ranting Chef: I have recipe posts as well for simple things as well as for some excellent hot cocoa that could serve as a dessert when prepared with “the works” as I like to call the additions I make to my cocoa. I have always found French Onion soup on the salty side; is there a lower salt/sodium option you have found that still tastes as good as “traditional” recipes? Could it be the cheese perhaps?



  1. French Onion Soup Rant « Clark Bunch - April 29, 2013

    […] out Rantings of an Amateur Chef to make your own, probably better and definitely cheaper than in the […]


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