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    Recipe of the Week | French Onion Soup

    <span style=font family helvetica arial sans serif font size 12pt>French Onion Soup | Photo Credit Randolph Graham<span>

    This is a very satisfying onion soup recipe. Serve it with or without the French bread and the Gruyere cheese top. The potato peel broth is a separate recipe in itself and is good to make ahead of time for those cold nights or afternoons when you want a tasty homemade soup but don’t have the time to do it all at once.


    1 quart clear potato peel broth (see ingredients below)

    5 ounces butter

    4 large white or yellow onions (sliced thin)

    1 teaspoon sugar

    2 cups water

    1 tablespoon Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base

    1 small bay leaf

    ¼ teaspoon thyme (dried)

    2 teaspoons lemon juice

    2 tablespoons brandy

    Salt and pepper to taste

    6 slices French bread (¾ inch thick)

    8 ounces Gruyere cheese (grated)



    Potato Peel Broth: Wash 6 to 7 large brown potatoes and peel them. Peel off strips at least 1/4 inch thick. Peel and quarter 1 large yellow onion. Wash 2 carrots and 1 small stalk celery and cut into 2 inch pieces. Put the potato peels, onion, carrots and celery into 1 1/2 quarts water. Add a sprig of parsley and, if you wish, a peeled clove of garlic. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat.   Simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours, or until all of the vegetables are soft. Drain off and retain the liquid broth. You should have approximately 5 cups of broth.


    Onion Soup: Melt butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion slices. Sprinkle with sugar. Cook onion slices for about 15 – 20 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Pour the potato peel broth and the 2 cups water over the onions. Add the bouillon, bay leaf, thyme, lemon juice and brandy.  Season with salt and pepper and simmer uncovered for another 35 – 40 minutes. The liquid will reduce slightly.


    Just before serving, pour the hot soup into ovenproof soup bowls. Top with slices of French bread and sprinkle with an ample amount of grated cheese. Place bowls under broiler for about 2 minutes or until the cheese melts. Carefully remove the soup from the oven and serve immediately.

    Chef Randy’s latest book: Ojai Valley Grill It Cookbook: vegetarian and vegan recipes and tips for successful grilling with color photoon Sale at AMAZON

    For additional recipes, see Chef Randy’s website at

    Chef Randy has been a vegetarian for over 40 years and eats local and organic grain, fresh fruit, and vegetables as much as possible. He is known locally as the “Healthy Chef.” His column, Chef Randy, is syndicated in California newspapers. See his website at for more recipes.

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