French Onion Soup is the most requested appetizer at our home. New Year’s Eve is an excellent time to make this delicious soup. Guests are baffled at the deliciousness and intimidated by what they assume must be a tremendously difficult preparation. What follows are simple and clear directions to make what may become your most requested appetizer. Now you know (and can share) the secret to this delicious soup.

The second option is a simple baked appetizer of sea scallops wrapped in bacon. Scallops are seen as decadent, and it is New Year’s Eve, so a bit of decadence seems appropriate.

French Onion Soup for two
(Make multiples of this recipe as required)

A kitchen knife is next to a wooden cutting board with supplies to make French Onion Soup. There is an open growler with cider poured into a glass. There is also ramakins of sliced onion, hot sauce, flour, butter. There is a glass with milk, and a can of consume.

Equipment

      • Oven/broiler
      • Stovetop
      • A saucepan large enough to accommodate ingredients
      • French onion bowls or large ramekins
      • Wooden spoon
      • Tablespoon measure

Ingredients for Soup

      • 1 can of Consommé (Consommé is better than beef broth for this recipe.)
      • 1 medium onion halved and sliced lengthwise.
      • 2 tablespoons of butter
      • 2 tablespoons of flour
      • 2/3 of the soup can filled with hard dry sparkling apple cider (To change the profile of this soup switch out the cider for your favourite beer, white or red wine––but make it with cider first so you have a baseline.)
      • 1/3 soup can of whipping cream
      • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (like Sriracha)
      • 1 cup of shredded Emmenthal (my favourite) or mozzarella

For Croutons

A large homemade crouton to top the soup is well buttered with a healthy covering of herbs

      • 2 slices of bread
      • Butter
      • Italian seasoning blend

Method

To make the croutons

1. Heat the oven to 350F.
2. Butter the bread liberally.
3. Sprinkle with herbs like Italian seasoning.
4. Toast the bread in the oven for 7 minutes or until it just starts to brown.
5. Use a water glass or biscuit cutter to trim bread into a round crouton to fit on top of the soup bowl.
6. Set croutons aside until final assembly.

To make soup

1. Peel and slice the onion lengthwise and sauté in melted butter over medium heat until the onions start to caramelize. (5-7 minutes)
2. Add flour and stir well to absorb the butter.
3. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
4. Add cream, consommé and cider and stir well to eliminate lumps.
5. Bring soup to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes.
6. Add hot sauce to suit your taste. (The goal here is just a hint of winter warming heat.)
7. Portion soup into oven-proof bowls. (I prefer to use French Onion soup bowls, but ceramic ramekins work in a pinch.)
8. Top soup with croutons and half of the cheese
9. Place soup under the broiler until the cheese is bubbling and starts to turn brown.
10. Warn your guests not to touch the soup bowls when you serve them.

For bacon-wrapped scallops (plan on three scallops per person)
Perfectly cooked bacon is wrapped around scallops, pieced by skewers. There is bright green parsley on the plate to decorate the appetizer.

Equipment

      • Oven
      • Wooden skewers
      • Small baking sheet

Ingredients

      • Sliced bacon
      • Fresh (or thawed) sea scallops
      • Chili Sauce

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. Rinse scallops in cool running water, drain and dry with paper towels.
3. Wrap scallops in bacon and thread on bamboo skewers.
4. Repeat so there are three bacon-wrapped scallops on each skewer.
5. Place skewers on a baking sheet.
6. Bake in a 375F oven for about 15 minutes or just until the bacon starts to crisp.
7. Serve each guest a skewer of three scallops with the option to dip them in chili sauce.

We will be making French Onion Soup again this year at some point over the holiday season, and then again for a family birthday in January––because of special requests of our guests who have come to absolutely love the soup. The scallops are simple and easy while simultaneously decadent. These will be making an appearance on our table too.

Happy New Year!

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