No Garbage French Onion Soup

Joanie loves French Onion Soup, and I think it’s pretty good too, so last week when I saw this post on how to make it at home I wanted to try it out. The only problem was that I wanted to do a really good job and we didn’t have any beef stock, and hadn’t found anywhere to get soup bones without making garbage, (we’ve been coasting using chicken bones from our freezer and vegetable stock but we didn’t have any beef bones). Also, to really do it right, we needed some good cheese – preferably Gruyère. Armed with some containers, I went to the market.

Since they deal in organic meat I thought that Les Fermes Saint-Vincent would be a good place to try to get a soup bone, and I was right. They didn’t have any soup bones that weren’t already wrapped and frozen so they sold me a good chunk of beef shank and were completely willing to put it in my container. Also, the meat that was on the bone was super deep red. I don’t know if that’s just the colour of the shank or if it’s because the meat is better, but it sure looks good.

Next I went to get some cheese. I went to Fromagerie Hamel, because it was close to where I was standing. They said that they couldn’t touch my container because it’s already contaminated, (to be clear, I didn’t bring a dirty container, but I guess anything that they haven’t sterilized is considered contaminated). I’m not sure if this is their company policy or if it’s the law. I’ll have to do some more research to find out. However, they were willing to cut some cheese and just hand it to me, then I could put the cheese in my container. This works for me. Unfortunately, they do wrap their blocks of cheese in saran wrap, and throw out and replace the old sheet of saran wrap every time they cut some cheese, or at least that’s what happened when they cut my cheese.

With meat and cheese, I bought a whole wheat baguette and headed home, where Joanie had cut a huge batch of onions.

At home I took the meat off of the beef shank and saved it and used the bone and membrane to start making a beef stock. Then we started caramelizing the onions. We pretty much followed the recipe. However, I kind of took the whole caramelization thing too far and we ended up with an extremely sweet soup. Next time, there will be less caramelization and more onion flavour.

Our super caramelized onions in a pot.

Super Caramelized - I got a bit carried away. This pot was full when we started.

However, with some good bread, good cheese, and yes, a ton of flavour the soup came out pretty well, especially since it was our first attempt ever at French Onion Soup. Next time it’ll be even better.

A photo of our French Onion Soup

The last of the soup, in my bowl, ready for eating.

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