French Onion Soup.

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This isn’t a recipe. This is an “I have no clue how to use these stewed vegetable leftovers, let’s call it a soup base” thing.

Here’s the backstory: Dad made a delicious braised pork shoulder with carrots and potatoes. Now while the carrots and potatoes were easy enough to fish out of the pot, the onions, shredded cabbage and thinly sliced golden apples melted into this ridiculously good sauce made from the pork shoulder juices and a bottle of Guinness.

I’m not a huge pork fan, but this won me over hook, line and sinker. We polished off the leftover pork and veggies, but we still had about a cup of the sauce mixture with the onions, cabbage and apples.

My father hates to waste food. I learned to cook from him, which included how to make meals so that each component of said meal can be repurposed for a later meal if there happens to be leftovers.

A little involved? Yes, but worth it. Start simply with the concept, for example if you’re making pasta, leave the pasta and the sauce separate. Then just let your imagination run with it. I’m a firm believer that cooking should be fun.

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This didn’t turn out badly for a first attempt ever at making French Onion Soup. Next time I will definitely not rush my onions. They went slightly golden, but not fully caramelized.

Liz’s (Haphazard) French Onion Soup, makes about 6 cups

Ingredients

1.5 cups leftover onion, cabbage, apple, beer & pork au jus (You could probably make this yourself pretty easily and use it as a soup base, too.)

2 cups yellow onion, thinly sliced into half moons

2 Tbs. unsalted butter (I used salted because of a mistake purchase at the grocer. If using salted butter, just taste first before you add salt to season later.)

32 oz carton unsalted beef stock (I used Swanson brand.)

3 Bay leaves, left whole

Salt and Pepper to taste

Toasted bread for serving (Rye, wheat, white, or whatever type of bread you prefer.)

Swiss, provolone, or mozzarella cheese for serving

Method

  1. Melt butter in a soup pot. Add onions and let them caramelize for about 30-40 minutes. You can rush this step, but getting a nice color on the onions provides a much better depth of flavor.
  2. Add in the 1.5 cups of cabbage/onion/apple/beer/pork au jus to the onions. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Let the flavors combine.
  3. Add the beef stock and the Bay leaves. Turn heat up and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let cook for about 10 minutes. Remove the Bay leaves.
  4. Place toasted broad at the bottom of the French Onion Soup crockery (or bowls for those who don’t have rarely used wedding gifts from their parents’ 1973 nuptials at their disposal). Ladle in soup, and top with cheese of choice.
  5. Put under a hot broiler until cheese browns and gets bubbly, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.

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