Favourite Family Recipe: Natalie’s French onion soup

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Favourite Family Recipe: Natalie’s French Onion Soup
Favourite Family Recipe contest finalist Natalie Van Apeldoorn shows Chef Wayne Sych of Joe Fortes her family's twist on French Onion Soup. – Jun 11, 2022


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 large sweet onions, sliced
  • 2-3 leeks, sliced, white part only, rinsed
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Lemon pepper
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups homemade veal stock or 3 tins consommé with 3 tins water
  • 1/2 cup drinkable red wine
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Croutons and finishing touches
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp grated garlic
  • 6 slices of French bread
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella
  • 3/4 cup grated Emmental
  • 3/4 cup grated Gruyère
  • Other favourite cheeses are applicable as well!



Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until it begins to brown and gives off a nutty aroma. Add onions, leeks and sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are very soft. Season liberally with lemon pepper. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add stock and red wine and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes to combine the flavours.

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Preheat broiler. Mix butter with olive oil and garlic in a small bowl. Spread butter mixture onto each side of the bread. Toast the bread in a pan over high heat or broil each side in the oven.

Divide soup into six oven-safe soup bowls and place on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle lemon zest into each bowl and top with the toasted bread. Combine grated cheese in a medium bowl. Cover toast with grated cheese. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling.

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