Wednesday, January 31, 2024

French Onion Chicken Soup

I tried a wonderful new soup recipe that I saw in The Epoch Times newspaper a couple of weeks ago.  I condensed the instructions so they are easier to follow.  This is a time consuming soup--mainly because the onions must be watched and stirred as they are cooking for 35-45 minutes, but it is very worth the effort.

French Onion Chicken Soup

For the Soup:

3 pounds yellow onions (4 large or 6 medium)

6 T. Butter, divided

1 tsp dried thyme

2 dried bay leaves

2 1/2 tsp salt, divided, plus more as needed

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 medium carrots 

3 medium stalks celery

3 cloves garlic (or 3/4 tsp garlic powder)

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or thighs

3/4 cup dry white wine

1 T. Dry sherry (I used Marsala wine as substitute)

1/4 c. Flour

6 c. Chicken broth

For the cheesy toasts (optional)

1/2 baguette or loaf of Italian/French bread

2 oz. Gruyere (or Swiss) cheese (about 1/2 heaping cup)

  • Peel, and thinly slice the yellow onions (about 10 cups)
  • Melt 4 T. of butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.  Add the onions, dried thyme , bay leaves, 1 1/2 tsp salt and the pepper.  Cook stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to prevent burning until the onions are soft and amber brown, 35-45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, peel and slice carrots and celery into 1/4 inch slices. (About 1 to 1 1/4 C. each) Mince the garlic.  When onions are done add remaining 2 T. butter to the onion mixture.  When melted, add carrots/celery/garlic and cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  • Add wine and sherry to mixture.  Cook, stirring occasionally until mostly evaporated, 2-3 minutes.  Sprinkle with the flour and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute.  Continue stirring as you pour in the chicken broth. 
  • Season the chicken breasts (I use chicken tenders) with rest of salt.  (If breasts are thick, butterfly them by slicing longwise through thickest part.)
  • Add the chicken in a single layer on top of onion/carrot/wine mixture.  Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a lively simmer.  Reduce heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.  Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes. 

Prepare cheese toasts:  

Arrange oven rack 3-4 inches below broiler unit and set oven to broil.  Cut baguette crosswise on a bias into 1 inch thick slices (about 8).  Place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.  Grate the Gruyere cheese.  Sprinkle the bread evenly with the cheese.  Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  • When chicken is well done, remove and shred with 2 forks, return to soup mixture. Remove bay leaves.  Add more salt/pepper if needed.  Ladle into bowls
  • Top each bowl of soup with a piece of cheese toast.  
  • Serve immediately.

Soup can be refrigerated 4-5 days or frozen for 3 months.