September 14, 2019

yummy french onion soup

You may have seen my French-inspired tablescape yesterday, and I promised to have the yummy French Onion Soup recipe today, so I wanted to give you some insight on it first. 

My neighbor Maureen has impeccable taste and loves all things French, so when she was downsizing her kitchen a bit, she passed along her vintage French soup bowls to me.  

You know the heavy white ceramic ones with the lions’ head handles? Well, these pretty bowls were longing for some home-made hot soup to fill them! 

This was my first attempt at making French Onion Soup, so as usual, I put my own spin on it. I’m on a Paleo diet, so that means no bread and cheese, but my family would love the crusty, cheesy topping, so I made adjustments... 

The soup itself is Paleo, so we just add the topping and all’s good! Now here’s the Fabiana twist.... A few more herbs than the traditional recipe calls for. My garden is filled with fresh herbs most of the year, so why not?! 

All I added to the traditional fixing of this soup was some fresh sage and a few fresh bay leaves. These two herbs are cooked down with the onions and just elevate the flavor profile tremendously. For me, the soup was amazing, even without the crispy topping. 

Paleo Friendly French Onion Soup 
4 large sweet onions, cut in 1/4 inch half-moon slices 
3 tbsp olive oil and/or butter 
4 – 5 sprigs fresh thyme 
10 leaves fresh sage, thinly sliced or chiffonade 
2-3 bay leaves 
5 cups vegetable or beef broth 
1 tbsp tomato paste  
1 small French baguette, sliced on a bias into 3/4-inch thick pieces 
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper 
12 ounces medium-hard cheese, such as a combination of Gruyere, Fontina, or Swiss, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 1/2 cups) 


Add oil, onions, thyme, sage and bay leaves to a pan over low heat and cover with lid; steam for about 20 – 30 minutes or until onions reduce down. 

Remove pan lid and continue to cook for approximately 90 minutes; check every 30 minutes or so, until the last 30 minutes when the onions will need stirring more often to avoid black bits or burning. 

When the onions are a deep all-over butterscotch color, add the tomato paste and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Use a splash of stock to deglaze the pan, then add the rest of the stock before simmering over low heat for an hour. Remove bay leaves.

Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Arrange bread on a rimmed baking sheet and broil until deep-golden brown on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side; set aside. 

Ladle 1 cup hot soup into four 13-ounce ramekins or ovenproof bowls. Arrange the bowls on a rimmed baked sheet. Place 2 slices of toasted bread over each bowl of soup to cover the surface of the soup completely. 

Sprinkle 3 ounces grated cheese over bread in each bowl, and place under broiler until cheese is melted and crusty brown around the edges. Watch carefully so that the cheese doesn't burn. Serve immediately. 

Prep Time: 10 mins 
Cook Time: 3 hours 
Yield: 4 servings 

With the weather cooling off a bit, I hope you’ll give this recipe a try! If you’re in the mood for a tomato soup, check out this recipe and for an amazing Potato Watercress Soup, check this out. 

ciao! fabiana 

September 13, 2019

today's french blue table

Happy Friday! We made it to the weekend, which in my book is reason enough to celebrate with a lovely dinner. With that, of course, comes a table set with some of my favorite finds, and tonight the theme is French bistro! 

Here’s my little secret... I took this past week’s blue pumpkin table and changed out just a few things to create this Parisian inspired dinner.  

I simply swapped out a few things and created a whole new look. The biggest visual impact for this table is the beautiful vintage tablecloth. It just speaks French to me! 

Oooh, la la! 😉

As you can see, the glasses are the same, as well as the white dinner plates. I switched out the container for the hydrangeas from a silver julep cup to an antique transferware pitcher.

In addition to the tablecloth, these fun plates were total bargains. The petit déjeuner plates are made by Williams-Sonoma and the picnic check plates were found in a huge set of blue and white tableware goodies.  

And you know what? Besides the Serena & Lily placemats and the white plates from Home Goods, all of this tableware was found in thrift stores or flea markets!  

The icing on the cake for this table are these adorable little ceramic hen napkin holders, found on Wednesday at my neighborhood thrift store. 

I actually had seen them there for a while, but with this French theme, I thought they were most appropriate! I couldn't buy a cup of coffee with what I spent on them.

Eyeing this table, you may spot a little clue for an upcoming blog post this weekend... 

These French onion soup bowls were a gift from my neighbor Maureen. And yes, she’s the same friend who lets me trim off eucalyptus branches for my floral arrangements!   

So what are French onion soup bowls without French onion soup? Not as yummy looking, that's for sure!

Here’s my first attempt at making French onion soup, and I have to say it was quite easy. This humble recipe starts off with several onions,  thinly sliced and cooked slowly in a cast iron pan with butter and olive oil, until they start to caramelize and turn a lovely butterscotch color. You know the aroma is amazing!

I just love how simple ingredients can create the most amazing soup, and my family totally approved too! With my Paleo diet, my bowl of soup was of course cheese and bread free, but just as luscious and flavorful. 

I'll have the entire recipe for you tomorrow. 

Until then, Happy Friday! 

ciao! fabiana


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