Stocking the pantry with French onion soup is a nifty time saver because it’s an ingredient that makes almost anything better. It lends a richer, savory taste to meats, vegetables, and gravies. Few demands are placed on the cook, except to succumb to the intoxicating aroma of caramelized onions and the velvety texture of french onion soup!
FRENCH ONION SOUP IS SIMPLE, RUSTIC, AND DELICIOUS!
Maybe it’s just me, but, before I made this recipe, I had this idea, a mystique really, about french onion soup. I’m not sure where I picked it up, but I associated french cuisine with “fancy”.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
(Well, at least not with this recipe)
French Onion Soup uses a few humble, inexpensive ingredients that have savory, filling character. The result is a richly flavored soup. This is a country meal and the ingredients you source should be from whatever you have on hand. For example:
- The onions that I use are nearly always ones nearing shelf life in cold storage.
- The beef bone broth I use is sourced from the scraps I’ve stockpiled in several freezer bags.
- Too often, the herbs I stuff in my sachet for seasoning are the remnants of thyme and rosemary, the only frost hardy herbs that refuse to completely go dormant in my winter garden.
Canning french onion soup at home gives you the ability to satisfy and nourish even with modest ingredients. It’s a simple recipe that only makes modest demands of time and effort, and allows you to reclaim an integral part of life—cooking.
FRENCH ONION SOUP IS RICH IN TASTE (AND NUTRIENTS) TOO!
That’s right! French Onion Soup is ultra healthy because its primary ingredients derive from nutrient dense sources. Onions are part of the allium family (along with leeks, shallots, garlic and chives) and have proven medicinal benefits. They also contain very good amounts of vitamin C and B6, iron, folate, and potassium. These combinations of vitamins and minerals are well known to alleviate cold and flu symptoms as well and contain anti-inflammatory properties.
But it gets even better.
Onions are extremely high in phytochemicals, which are plant-derived nutrients that are found in fruits, vegetables, grains and beans that project your cells from damage. The antioxidant Quercetin is one of the most potent antioxidants contained in plant pigments that play an important role in helping your body combat free radical damage.Even better, cooking onions in soup doesn’t reduce the Quercetin value, it simply transfers to the broth!
Onions are also a great source of soluble fiber, which is essential to maintain good gut bacteria.
Optimal gut health is the foundation for good health, which research has shown may help with weight loss, enhance the immune system, help lower cholesterol, and even protect against certain cancers. If you’re looking for a delicious way to boost the good bacteria in your gut, consider adding french onion soup as part of your regular meal plan.
French Onion Soup has a History as Rich as its Flavor!
Ya’ll, onion soup has been enjoyed for thousands of years. Yup, this recipe dates back to Roman antiquity. Throughout most of history, onion soup was stigmatized as peasant or poor man’s food because it’s made from accessible, easy to grow and inexpensive ingredients.
Fast forward to 18th century France, when onion soup became popularized because the onions were no longer boiled, but caramelized. While there are contrasting theories as to the modern French onion soup, some attribute the recipe to King Louis XV, while others to Stanislas Leszczynski, duke of Lorraine and father of the Queen Consort of France.
Truth is, Onion soup has been in France’s culinary catalog for so long that there’s no way to truly know who or how it was first invented. What can be verified is that this soup became a French favorite when the addition of beef broth and grated boiled cheese debuted in the restaurants surrounding les Halles—the Poule au Pot, Chez Baratte, the Pied de Cochon.
How to Cook with French Onion Soup
So, you’ve made french onion soup –now what? This is an incredibly useful and versatile soup. It’s mildly sweet and savory sweet vegetable flavor can be used in many different ways—as a base for sauces and soups, adding richness and depth without changing the essential flavor of what it is paired with.
During the week, when I don’t have to fiddle with tons of ingredients, the addition of a savory soup is what adds those complex flavors without all of the fuss.
Honestly, my reason for canning french onion soup goes waaaaay beyond enjoying it as a soup. In fact, that’s often the last way I’ll use a jar of this recipe. I can this recipe because you get maximum taste for minimal effort. You pretty much slice onions, pour stock and seasonings over top and let that simmer ride out low and slow. You know this recipe is done when those intoxicating aromas utterly captivate you and demand that you take a taste test…ah, perfection!
Watch this video for french onion soup recipe ideas and step-by-step pressure canning directions!
HERE ARE SOME SIMPLE MEAL IDEAS THAT START WITH FRENCH ONION SOUP
- On a frigid winter morning, nothing is quite as enticing as waking up to a bowl of warm soup for breakfast.
- A breakfast french onion strata is so easy to make (especially the night before). Use up soon to be stale bread and make it savory by heaping this soup, with whisked eggs seasoned with cheese and herbs.
- Please, PLEASE tell me you had a french onion soup roast beef sandwich? If you haven’t, darlin’ what are you waiting for? It’ll be the most fork-tender and flavorful beef you’ve eva’ had!
- Another favorite is Bourbon and Bacon Chicken. The addition of onion soup takes this decadent dish over the dish for a meal that’s fancy without the fuss!
- A French Onion Meatball skillet dinner is just too easy to resist making when I’m short on time. If you’re addicted to cheese, onions, and potatoes this dish is meant for you!
What’s the difference between Onion Soup and French Onion Soup?
This recipe is delicious, but if you’re looking for a by-the-book authentic french soup recipe–this aint it. BUT—that’s only because I tweak two little things:
- I use a combination of onions (red, yellow, white)
- I combine beef and chicken stock or broth.
Authentic french onion soup is made exclusively with yellow onions and only with beef broth. In my home, I’m always gonna cook with what I have on hand or what’s in season and darnit, sometimes I’m gonna toss in a purple onion! And, I just prefer a medley of onion flavors in each spoonful. Pure beef broth has a deep beefy and roast flavor which, for my taste buds, can be a bit much when paired with onion. This is why I choose to cut the recipe with chicken stock, which gives it a milder, slightly nuisance flavor. I also added liquid aminos for an added nutritional boost.
Best Tips for Canning Homemade French Onion Soup
- It can take up to an 30 minutes to caramelize onions the right way, and yes, I emphasize ‘right’, because there is a wrong way.You want those onions bronzed and beautiful not bitter and burnt so here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Set your burner to medium heat. Dumpt the onions in and hit ‘em with some salt to draw out the moisture. Allow them to cook slowly, stirring occasionally. Your onions will first get soft, then juicy, then start to brown (psst: this is what makes them sweet and delicious).
- You should absolutely adjust the heat as necessary so that the onion layer caramelizes at a steady pace. The layers of your onions should gradually move from tender and translucent to a deep golden brown.
- Slice your onions from stem to root a 1/4 inch thick(erroring on the side of thicker) so that they keep their shape during cooking. Avoid slicing crosswise because they fall apart way too easily.
- Use beef bone broth for added nutrients.
- For the best flavor, select a wine that you’d actually drink.
- Can you make this in a crockpot? Yes, 100% yes, but caramelize those onions on the stove top first!
- I substituted the soy sauce with liquid aminos. It tastes like a mild soy sauce with a salty, savory flavor and hint of sweetness and adds aminos. Liquid aminos can be used interchangeably with soy sauce.
How to Avoid Crying when Cutting Onions
Although unpleasant to cut, onions immediately add that “something smells good” aroma to any kitchen.
For most of us, slicing onions makes you cry (but searing onions makes you smile when those aromas start to fill the air). Since this recipe uses quite a few onions, I wanted to share some ways you can make this step as tear-less as possible.
If you cry when you cut onions, here are a few tips:
- Use a sharp knife- a dull knife releases more of the tear inducing chemicals into the air.
- Keep a wet dish towel (or several wet paper towels) nearby to absorb the allium compounds.
- Chill your onions before cutting and toss in a bowl of cool water as you slice.
- Cut the onions lengthwise to lessen the release of the onion fumes.
- Wear yard or swimming goggles (But if you’re not cheap like me, you could purchase safety onion goggle glasses—yes, it’s a thing)
But if you’re insane like me and never apply onion cutting tips, just work quickly so that you reduce your exposure to the cut surface of the onion. As soon as you toss your sliced onions in the skillet and the savory onion fragrance takes over–all is forgiven. You’ll consider dampness on your cheeks as “tears of joy”!
HOMEMADE FRENCH ONION SOUP | CANNING RECIPE
Equipment You May Need
Canning lids (wide or regular)
Qt or Pt size canning jars
Liquid and Dry Measuring Cups
Bubble Remover & Headspace Measuring
List of Ingredients
4 lbs of (measurement) sliced onions (about 8 medium onions or 6 large)
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups dry white wine (divided)
3 quarts of stock (ideas: store bought beef stock, Better than Bouillon, or homemade. I used 1 qt of chicken stock and 2 qts of beef bone broth)
1-2 t. Dried thyme
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Optional Seasonings for a flavorful punch (to taste): worceshire, liquid aminos kitchen bouquet, garlic powder and bay leaf
Homemade French Onion Soup | Easy Pressure Canning Recipe
- Pressure Cooker
- Stainless Steel or Enameled Dutch Oven
- Canning Lids
- Canning Rings
- Canning Jars
- 1/4 cup olive oil/butter
- 4 lbs onions (sliced 1/4 inch thick)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3 tsp dried thyme or rosemary
- 3 cups dry white wine, divided
- 2 qt beef bone broth
- 1 qt chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup liquid aminos
- Warm olive oil in a large stainless steel or enameled dutch oven (8-qt or larger). Add onion, salt, and pepper. Place lid on pot and cook for 30 minutes and up to an hour until onions are tender, stirring occasionally.
- When the onions have caramelized in color, add the thyme and wine stirring in the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow ingredients to simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the wine has evaporated.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil. Once a boil is reached, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Ladle hot soup in to jars, leaving 1 inch of head space. Use a debubbler to remove air bubbles. Wipe the rim of each jar with vinegar or water and center a new lid on each jar. Apply band and adjust until finger-tip tight.
- Place jars on a rack in a pressure canner filled with 2 inches of simmering water (180 /90C). Secure lid on canner to its locked position. Turn the heat to medium high and allow the canner to vent steam for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes place the weight or weighted gauge on vent and bring to 10 lbs of pressure for a weighted gauge canner or 11 lbs of pressure for a dial gauge canner.
- Process 1 pt jars for 60 minutes or 1 qt jars for 1 hours and 15 minutes. Cut the heat and allow the canner to reduce to zero pressure. Let stand for 10 minutes before removing lid (open away from your face to avoid hot steam).
- Allow jars to cool in the canner for 10 more minutes. Remove jars and cool.
When are the Jars Ready?
As your jars cool, you’ll hear the jars making clicking pops. Leave the jars undisturbed on a towel between 8-24 hours. After that, you can confirm the jars have been sealed by removing the rings. A sealed jar lid will remain secured to the jar without the rim and be slightly indented in the center. Use your index finger to moderately tap on the jar in a few places, it should not pop back when pressed. The majority of your jars will seal within a few hours of cooling down. If you have any jars that didn’t seal properly, just store them in the fridge and use them within the week months.
Is this recipe “approved” as safe?
YES! That’s because I only share tested home canning recipes inspired from reputable sources. I take safe canning practices very seriously, so this (and any) recipe that appears on my blog or YouTube channel will:
- Use only recipe methods that follow safe and science-based guidelines published by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Center for Home Food Preservation, and Jarden companies like Ball and Bernardin.
- Source all information so that you can follow it back to the canning authorities where the recipe originated. I I want you to be a confident, informed canner too, so I’m very transparent about any modifications I include.
My goal with publicly sharing canning recipes is to inspire you to create your own healthier, better-tasting, and usually cheaper convenience foods. And, to show how canning food in the modern world still makes sense! Above all, I want you to be both safe and successful in your canning efforts. For this reason, I’ll always link to the approved NCHFP canning recipes and encourage you to make a small investment in purchasing the most updated preservation books and equipment I use in my own kitchen.
Start Canning Your Own French Onion Soup at Home!
Canning your own french onion soup is a way to stockpile your kitchen pantry with jars of a wholesome, nourishing ingredient that’s conveniently ready as a meal starter or main entree. It blends economical and ancestral cooking, and imparts unbeatable flavor that’ll make an ordinary recipe extraordinary. Canned onions give your cooking depth and flavor that’s hard to compare. If your interested in more canned onion recipes try mySweet & Spicy Onion Jam or Epic Balsamic and Rosemary Onion Jam, next!