French Onion Soup

I started writing this blog post on August 8, 2016. So much has happened since then that I need to refresh the post and also let you all know of the goings on at the Riske Homestead! 6 days after I was “going to” publish this post, I became busy with the newest member of our family! Now that we have settled with Levi in our home, cooking dinners has thus resumed. French Onion Soup was requested by Tyler, and I was more than ready to get back into the kitchen.

French Onion Soup

Published September 18, 2017
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Why so long since my last blog?

Levi Gary Riske was born on August 14, 2016. Two days after his brother Matthew, and two days before his oldest brother Samuel. What a character Levi is! He sure fits into the youngest child mold already by spoiling up the boys’ special week. Right. Smack. Dab. In. The. Middle. Boys!!!

French Onion Soup and Levi

Seriously though, his hair! Folks, this baby his hair to be envious about! As a result, he had a haircut at six weeks old because it was so long and was covering his eyes.

Levi was born after a total of 3 hours of labor and weighs a whopping 9 pounds 13 ounces. Wowzah. Out of all my boys, he is the biggest! Today, Levi is 13 months old and is still as handsome as ever. By a year old he needed two haircuts. How crazy is that?!

But, alas, I shall not bother you any more about my handsome guys. Well, maybe just one more! Below is an image of the three Riske guys while on a walk the other day. When it is nice, we like to get out and explore.

French Onion Soup

Water damage and remodeling

So, there are a few reasons why I have not posted in SUCH a long time. Handsome baby Levi guy is #1.
#2- is because for months, I didn’t have a kitchen to cook in! Our upstairs toilet intake valve or whatchamacallit… failed and leaked for God-only-knows how long. Right into our kitchen. Mind you, it was an old kitchen. But it worked and it was clean. The door, however, was not nice. Who puts a door there?

old kitchen with golden oak cabinets

Coincidentally it was intake and clean water, but still caused a huge issue. One day I noticed water on our kitchen counter and thought one of the boys had made a mess, but the next day it was there again, except there was more and I noticed it was dripping out of our upper cabinets. It was like opening Pandoras box. The more Tyler took off the walls, the more water damage we found.

We basically lived like vagabonds out of the living room for six months because we had to gut the kitchen. The kitchen was also blocked off for a few days for a mold treatment.

entire kitchen contents piled on shelves

We didn’t have a kitchen

When Tyler came home, he found that the uppers, lowers, and pretty much half of our kitchen by this point, was wet and moldy behind the cabinets and drywall.
It all had to go. It was awful. However, we did get to dry out the water damage and find really interesting metal tiles that were covering the walls under drywall.

We had to gut our kitchen down to the studs but thankfully for insurance, we were covered. Additionally, I am thankfully for my handy husband- we saved so much by him doing all of the work and with the help of family and friends!

So now I have a new kitchen, and I am so excited to start my blog again! I feel like a professional chef now, with such a beautiful place to cook and bake. Seriously folks, my husband Tyler did an amazing job, and we owe so much gratitude to CNK Cabinetry out of Neenah/Menasha WI. They worked so great with us, let us design the kitchen, and created our custom cabinets that look SO good!

kitchen with dark brown stain cabinets

We got rid of a backyard access door, with a patio door to go into the dining room at a later date. Our old kitchen was only 9-feet of counter tops to a brand-new kitchen with 34-feet of countertop! I am in love, and so grateful!

kitchen renovation with floating shelves

So, onto my post, now that you are all caught up with my life and happenings.
And so, French Onion soup.

French Onion Soup Recipe

Ingredients for French Onion Soup

5 pounds onions, sliced
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
2 cups water

ingredients needed for French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup Directions

1. On a cutting board, cut the ends off the onion, peel off the outside and slice them into strips. 
I use sweet onions because I enjoy their flavor when cooked the most. Making French Onion soup, this is the most time consuming, and hardest because if you are not used to cutting so much onion, you WILL die. Or you will think you will!
Before you start, remember to breathe from your mouth – NOT your nose- seriously. It will help! Breathing from your nose will only freak out your sinuses resulting in crying and the inability to see for the foreseeable future. Finish cutting the onions while breathing only from your mouth.
Try it, it helps!

Onions cut on red cutting board

2. Put the onions, 4 Tbsp butter and 1/2 tsp salt in a Dutch Oven and then cook for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Thanks grandma Santkuyl for the Dutch Oven! Tyler and I moved into their home when she and my grandpa were in a nursing home. Crud, now all my aunts know I have this!

butter pieces on onion slices in Dutch oven for French Onion Soup

3. Stir with a spatula, and then cook an additional 1 1/2 hours.

onions for soup roasting in Dutch Oven after stirring

To go with this meal, I also made a loaf of wheat bread with a garlic and herb rub. Check out the recipe for my homemade bread below.

Homemade wheat bread on wood cutting board

4. On the stovetop, which is why a Dutch Oven is necessary, pour 1/4 cup water into pan and then deglaze 4 times for a total of 50 minutes. That is to say, every 15 minutes or so add 1/4 cup water and continue to cook until a spatula sliding on the pan bottom shows the liquid staying still.

forth cup water in measuring cup on stovetop next to large pot

5 Deglaze with 1/2 cup dry sherry, or wine.
This is a Cabernet Sauvignon from ALDI. Yes, ALDI sells wine! And this beauty comes in at $2.98 a bottle. Now you know my secret… and I hope you all don’t buy all my wine!!! Winking Owl isn’t the top of the shelf stuff, but on a budget and for a yummy bottle, this is your stuff!

half cup dry white wine in measuring cup on stovetop

6. Add all of the stocks and 1 bay leaf. This includes 4 cups of chicken stock, 2 cups beef broth and 2 cups of water.
Simmer for 20 minutes before serving.

French onion soup in large metal pot simmering

Once the French Onion Soup was done simmering, it was then ladled into these awesome ramekins.

Hope you enjoy it!
Thanks also for sticking with me.
Life happens, it is fun and scary and full of ups and downs.
But, with strong people around you- those scary times seem much more fun!

French Onion Soup with bread

French Onion Soup Recipe

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

Recipe for delicious French Onion Soup and an update on why there has been a large gap between posts. Enjoy this recipe!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Cooling Time 5 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine French
Servings 6 Quarts


  • Dutch Oven
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring Cup


  • 5 pounds 5 pounds onions, sliced1 tsp salt4 Tbsp butter1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon4 cups chicken broth2 cups beef brothThyme1 bay leaf2 cups water sliced thin
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 cup Dry Sherry OR Dry Red Wine
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups Beef Broth
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp Thyme


  • Cut the ends off the onion, peel off the outside and then slice them into strips. 
  • Put the onion, 4 Tbsp butter and 1/2 tsp salt in a Dutch Oven and cook for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
  • Stir and then cook an additional 1 1/2 hours.
  • On the stovetop, which is why a Dutch Oven is necessary, pour 1/4 cup water into pan and deglaze 4 times for a total of 50 minutes.
  • So every 15 minutes or so add 1/4 cup water and continue to cook until a spoon sliding on the pan bottom shows the liquid staying still.
  • Deglaze with 1/2 cup dry sherry, or a differed dry red wine.
  • After the deglazing, add 4 cup chicken broth, 2 cup beef broth, 2 cup water, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp thyme, and 1 bay leave.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Serve with toasted garlic bread and sprinkle freshly shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the soup.
Keyword French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup in Ramekin cooked

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Published by Monica's Scratch Kitchen

I have not always had the skills to cook and bake from scratch. As a young wife, I bought every meal frozen or boxed and presented it to my husband with a flourish, believing myself a decadent cook. As our budget shrunk, and our family grew, I looked for ways to stretch our money to nourish our kids with the best for their hungry appetites. Hoping to find recipes and meals that they would love to eat. Through the last 5 years, I have learned so many cooking and baking lessons, and experienced many wins and failures. Come along with me on this journey as I share my recipes that work, how to make them on the cheap, and my tips and tricks to get my kids to eat homemade deliciousness! I will also share updates to our house that we have done in the last year since our move. With one income, we do most of the work ourselves and with amazing family and friends to help out, cutting costs but keeping style and money in the bank! I am a wife and mother of 3 boys and 1 princess. When I was a kid, I remember being asked what I wanted to be or do when I grew up. My response was, "a mom", and I am proud to grow up and be a mom to 4 amazing kids! Samuel is 11, Matthew is 8, Levi is 4, and Elliana is almost 2. We have been blessed to have kids who love to explore foods, to try new recipes, and enjoy helping us around the house. With 4 kids, you better believe they help clean! My husband Tyler and I have been married almost 13 years. We love our kids, we love outdoors, camping, canoeing, grilling, watching movies, and just hanging out making memories. A few years ago I gifted Tyler with his own "menu" book, where we write meals and foods we have loved to eat. Weekly our family decides what our meals will be and I make up a grocery list with what we need. It literally is my favorite chore! I love to shop, so shopping for food on a budget is my biggest win! Thank you for taking the time and visiting my site, Subscribe so you do not miss a post! Keep coming back to hear about new recipes, updates on our home, fun times with our kids, and how to make homemade deliciousness! ~Monica

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