Derek Bissonnette’s French Onion Soup recipe and Cookbook review: Soup: The Ultimate Book of Soups and Stews

#derekbissonnette #soup #cidermillpress

71AlYWqoTvLIs there anything more wonderful when it’s cold outside than a nice hot bowl of soup?! I found the most amazing soup book, Soup: The Ultimate Book of Soups and Stews! It really is the be-all and end-all encyclopedia of soup. If you love soup, you need this. It has everything. It’s got easy peasy soups for kitchen newbies and fabulous gourmet soups for when you want to stretch your culinary muscles. The recipes are perfection.

The book itself is tremendously giftable. The cover and paper quality are fabulous. There are three placeholder ribbons and metallic stitches in the binding that add to the decadent feel. It’s nice and heavy. There aren’t pictures for all the dishes, but the ones included have a lovely artistic flair.

I wish I would have had this book as a young mother. Soup used to be my cheat card with the kids. They smiled at soup bowls and didn’t scrutinize individual ingredients like on a regular plate. They’re teenage foodies now and loved everything in here. I’ll give you a little preview of what’s in it with my thoughts and pictures of the recipes we tried, but first, let me share with you the best french onion soup I’ve ever had. A big thanks to Cider Mill Press for letting me share it with you!

French Onion Soup

Yield: 4 servings Active time: 30 minutes/Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Should you only make one recipe from this book, let it be this one. I’ve yet to meet someone who dislikes this soup.

5 onions, 1 halved, the remaining 4 sliced very thin
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup sherry <Use a sherry that you’d be happy to sip. ~Jen>
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons thyme, chopped
8 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices of sourdough bread
1 ½ cups gruyere cheese, grated

1. Place the halved onion over an open flame and char. Set aside. <It’s not mentioned again. I sliced it and added it with the other onions in the next step. ~Jen

2. Place the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the remaining onions and cook on the lowest setting for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Stir the onions every few minutes and add small amounts of water when the onions begin to stick.

3. Deglaze the pan with the sherry and Worcestershire sauce. Cook until liquid has been reduced by half.

4. Add the thyme and stock and cook until reduced by half.

5. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to its broiler setting.

6. Season the soup with salt and pepper and pour into ceramic bowls.

7. Cover with a slice of sourdough bread and the cheese. Place bowls on the oven’s top rack and cook until the cheese is melted.

Continuing my review…..

71AlYWqoTvLSoup: The Ultimate Book of Soups and Stews
By Derek Bissonnette
Edition: Hardcover

1) Butternut Squash and Apple Cider Soup with Fall Spiced Cream – p 220. This is the perfect fall soup. The title could go either way, but this is definitely a savory soup. We loved the crispy fried squash garnish.1wm
2-3) Pork and Crab Wonton Soup – p 149. The flavor on this is to die for. I made a lot more wontons to use up the wrappers, so there’s extra in the soup and I froze the rest for the kids to toss in boiling broth for 5 minutes before tossing into their lunchboxes.

4) Swedish Meatball Soup – p 427. Wow. Great soup. There’s only a small amount of heavy cream in the soup, so it really is a combination of Swedish meatballs and gravy with soup. If you love Swedish meatballs, you will adore this one. The kids finished all of the extra soup in the pot right away.4wm
5) Chilled Strawberry and Tomato Gazpacho with Roasted Strawberries – p 664. Divine. This is very much a savory tone. The strawberries add a sweetness in the background and amplify the tomato-y-ness of the tomatoes. The garlic flavor is very much there. If you don’t care for pops of raw garlic, you may want to use a few roasted garlic cloves instead.5wm
6) French Onion Soup – p 238. The author says, “Should you only make one recipe from this book, let it be this one. I’ve yet to meet someone who dislikes this soup.” So I had to try it. Amazing soup! Hauntingly good. The table was quiet. This was the only one I found a typo in. You char one onion over an open flame and set aside. It doesn’t come up again in the instructions, so I let it cool, and sliced it thinly like the rest of the onions and added it along with them.6wm
7) Rocky Mountain Chili – p 345 and Cornbread – p 367. Delicious, very mild chili on the healthy end of the chili spectrum. There’s ground turkey, 3 kinds of beans, and 3 layers of tomato (fresh, sauce, and paste) in the chili. The cornbread is very sweet with a fluffy moist texture. I gave it a quick blip under the broiler for a second to color the top at the end.7wm
8) Old Fashioned Chicken Broth and Dumpling Soup – p 145. It’s exactly as the title promises. It is total comfort food.8wm
9) Hot Chocolate Coconut Soup with Bruleed Bananas – p 695. Great dessert. It’s got a very rich, full chocolate flavor and it’s barely sweet. It’s hard to get the bananas to stand up. Lol!9wm

I’m not even beginning to make a dent in the range here, but here are some others I have flagged to try: Homemade Meatballs and Conchiglie Pasta Soup – p 126 * Pork Teriyaki and Red Miso Ramen – p 151 * Portobello Mushroom Ravioli in Beet Soup – p 156 * Pot Sticker Broth – p 158 * Thai Coconut Broth with Lobster Wontons – p 170 * Avgolemono with Orzo Salad – p 174 * Chili Tortilla Soup – p 181 * Broccoli and Cheddar Soup with Parmesan Crisps – p 195 * Broccoli and Stilton Soup – p 196 * Caldo Verde Soup with Paprika Oil – p 199 * Caramelized Onion Soup with Baked Herb Croutons – p 205 * Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Curried Cauliflower Florets – p 225 * Eggplant and Zucchini Soup with Tzatziki, Mint-Pickled Cucumbers, and Pita Bread – p 230 * Mexican Sweet Roasted Garlic Soup – p 246 * Miso Broth with Fried Tofu – p 249 * Roasted Pumpkin Mole Soup – p 256 * Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup with Rosemary Crackers – p 257 * Sweet Potato Soup – p 268 * Watercress and Buttermilk Soup with Poppy Seed Yogurt – p 280 * Rutabaga and Fig Soup with Honey-Roasted Figs and Barbequed Chickpeas – p 293 * Cashew Soup – p 303 * Russian Pea and Barley Soup with Simple Country-Style Bread – p 328 * African Peanut Soup – p 337 * Chicken Chili – p 354 * Walnut Soup with Chive and Shallot Oil – p 356 * Butternut Squash, Quinoa, and Chicken Soup – p 359 * Chili Con Carne – p 363 * Mexican Beef Chili with Nachos – p 375 * Hungarian Goulash with Cucumber Salad – p 387 * Beef, Barley, and Portobello Mushroom Soup – p 393 * Chili Verde – p 415 * Indian Mulligatawny Lamb Soup – p 439 * Irish Country Soup with Soda Bread – p 472 * Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo – p 480 * Southwestern Chicken Soup – p 525 * Velvety Chicken and Chestnut Soup – p 529 * Coconut and Chicken Curry Soup with Naan – p 531 * Seafood and Sausage Gumbo – p 549 * Bouillabaisse – p 574 * New England Clam Chowder – p 582 * Crab Bisque with Caviar Crème Fraiche – p 590 * Crab and Oyster Gumbo – p 635 * Chilled Canteloupe and Ginger Soup with Champagne Espuma – p 646 * Chilled Cherry Soup with Brioche French Toast – p 677 * Chilled Rhubarb Champagne Soup with Lemon Poppy Seed Marscapone – p 679 * Strawberry Consomme with Cardamom Buttermilk Panna Cotta and Scottish Shortbread – p 683 * Acorn Squash Soup with Fennel Salad – p 719 * Chilled Honeydew Melon Soup with Crispy Prosciutto di Parma – p 720 * Cream of Tomato with Sourdough Garlic Bread – p 723

*I received a copy to explore and share my thoughts.

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