Cold is not something that we welcome in this household. It means higher electric bills, more laundry from wearing more clothes, and not getting to sit under the carport and breathe in fresh air. But as we all know, you can’t stop the cold from coming so we embrace a few combative measures to stay warm. The one we look forward to the most is a big, melty bowl of French onion soup.

The other week when it was a lot warmer out, we finally stopped by Provisions, a new local grocery-type store in town on Millwood Avenue to see what we could stock up on for the winter. Patrick found a package of dry French onion soup mix, and after a quick scan of the ingredients we determined that it was vegetarian and brought it home, along with a few other fun treats like a powedered raspberry cheesecake mix (just add cream cheese).

Provisions has an old-timey grocery store feeling and has mostly packaged and dry goods all produced in Indian Land, SC, though they do have an all-local frozen and dairy section, along with a handful of varieties of fresh staple produce, to help you line your pantry for the winter as to cut down on the number of times you might have to venture out into the tundra for pantry staples (and yes, by tundra I mean anything below 55 degrees, and by staples I of course also include their large variety of chocolate covered nuts).

So back to the soup. The directions on the powdered French Onion soup mix indicate that you mix a half cup of the mix with two and a half cups of water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. While that might make a decent cuppa soup, its not enough for the onion lovers that we are, so I expounded upon their simple recipe to make it just a tad more complicated, but less so than my original vegetarian French onion soup recipe from a few years ago, and still as rich.

Provisions French Onion Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, sliced into strips
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup Provisions French Onion Soup mix
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 -6 slices of crusty loaf bread or baguette
  • 4-6 slices of provolone cheese

Directions

  1. Heat butter and oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add in onions and stir to coat.
  2. Let the onions saute over low heat for 10-15 minutes until soft but not browning. Stir frequently to ensure that they do not begin to caramelize.
  3. Add in the soup mix, broth, and water. Stir and bring to a boil.
  4. Once the soup has come to a full boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 additional minutes.
  5. Ladle the soup into individual bowls, top with crusty bread, and place cheese to cover the top of the bowl.
  6. Place under broiler and heat until cheese browns to your liking.
  7. Remove to individual plates and eat immediately.
  8. Save any leftover soup on its own and re-heat with the bread and cheese later.