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If I listed my top 5 favorite soups, French onion would be in it.  I love the deep flavor of the broth, the sweetness of the onions, the crispy cheese, it is just SO good.  It seems special too, I’m not sure why, but something about it tastes like extra effort was put into it (maybe it’s the cheese broiling?)  Whatever it is, I love it and each and every time I make it I am reminded how simple it is and I ask myself, why don’t I make this more often?

This week I found a gluten free, carb free, recipe for French onion, using a portobello mushroom in place of the traditional slice of French bread.  I just had to give it a try.  Since I am a huge mushroom fan (and watching my carbs) it was a match made in heaven for me.  If you hate mushrooms (which I can’t even fathom) then this would be great with a thick slice of bread in place of the mushroom, but please give this version a try, it is worth it, so delicious!

The two most important parts of French Onion Soup, the onions used and the broth used.  This recipe is great with red onions or sweet yellow onions.  Make sure you take the time to caramelize them slowly and don’t burn them, it will ruin the flavor.  As for the broth, best would be homemade beef broth, but since most of us don’t take the time to do this, second is beef consommé, and if you are in a pinch beef base and water works fine too.

Portobello French Onion Soup

Adapted from Susanne Somers

  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 2 large or 3 medium red or sweet yellow onions
  • 1 tsp. mustard seed
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 4 cups beef broth or consommé
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 4 slices or 1 cup grated pepper jack or provolone cheese

In a medium sauce pan melt the butter over medium high heat.  Slice the onions thinly, using a sharp knife, mandoline, or food processor.  Place the onions in the pan with the melted butter.  Saute, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to medium low.  Add the mustard seed, celery seed, and cracked pepper and continue to sauté the onions until caramelized to a deep brown, another 20-25 minutes.

Add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce.  Turn the heat up to medium and cook for another 10 minutes, adjusting the salt and pepper as desired.  While the soup is cooking slice each mushroom top into two pieces, cutting the width of the mushroom in half.  Heat a fry pan to medium high heat and brush each side of the mushroom top with olive oil.  Seer the mushroom on each side, about 2 minutes, until light brown.

Preheat the boiler to high.  Place 4 oven proof bowls on a cookie sheet and ladle the soup into each bowl.  Place the mushrooms on top of the soup and sprinkle with cheese.  Place the bowls under the boiler and cook until the cheese is lightly brown and bubbly, 1-2 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve immediately, watch out, the bowls are hot!