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French Onion Soup


  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 3 lbs onions
    • Mix of yellow, Vidalia, shallot, red, etc
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Sherry
  • 64 ounces chicken or beef stock
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • Crusty bread
  • Gruyere cheese



  1. Melt butter. Sauté onions until soft.
  2. Reduce heat, caramelize for 1-2 hours. Stir frequently. If liquid evaporates, add a teaspoon of water and continue until golden brown.
  3. Add sherry. Scrape up any browned bits. Simmer until alcohol burns off.
  4. Add stock. Put thyme and bay leaf in strainer. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a minimum of 20 minutes. Remove thyme and bay leaf.
  5. Add fish sauce and cider vinegar.
  6. Ladle a small portion into ramekins. Add a slice of bread. More soup, another bread, cheese. Broil until cheese is golden brown.



Everyone needs a good chili recipe. Chili is not something that we make very often in this house, but when we do, we want it done right. Here is an excellent chili recipe that we recently found. We have made a few subtle alterations to go with our tastes.

Notes: Use the huge soup pot, it makes a LOT!

2 lb Ground Beef
1 lb Hot Italian sausage (no casing)
3, 15 oz cans Chili beans, drained
1, 15 oz can Chili beans in spicy sauce
2, 28 oz cans Diced tomatoes with sauce, pulsed quickly in the blender
1, 6 oz can Tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 Green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 Jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 TBSP Bacon bits
4 cubes Beef boulion
1/2 cup Beer
1 cup Golden Tequila
1/4 cup Chili powder
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP Minced garlic
1 TBSP dried Oregano
2 tsp ground Cumin
2 tsp Hot sauce
1 tsp dried Basil
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp ground Black pepper
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp White sugar
For Serving:
8 oz Cheddar cheese, shredded
Tortilla chips
Corn Bread (see here)


  • In the large pot, brown the ground beef and sausage. Drain excess fat.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients (except those for serving). Stir well.
  • Cover and simmer on low heat for at least 2 hours, or longer if you have time.
  • Serve topped with Cheddar cheese. Use tortilla chips and corn bread for dipping.

Nonna’s Chicken Soup

Nonna’s Chicken Soup

6 Large Cans College Inn Low Sodium Chicken Broth (or can use 4 cans if you want a little less)
1 Medium to Large Onion (cut in 4 pieces)
3 Stalks of Celery (chopped)
1 Package Baby Carrots
1 medium Broccoli head
1 Medium Russett Potato (cut in half)
1 whole cut up chicken – you can use any other kind of chicken meat too… thighs taste yummy (use less chicken if only using 4 cans)

Ancini di Pepe pasta


  • Bring broth to a boil, add chicken and continue to boil lightly for 45-50 minutes.
  • Add vegetables and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer 1 hour.
  • Using a slotted spoon remove chicken and place in a separate bowl.
  • Pour remaining soup through a colander into a large bowl.  Remove the potato halves and discard.
  • Put separated vegetables into a blender to puree.
  • Add vegetable puree, and broth back to large pot.
  • Remove chicken from bones and add to the soup.

Once your soup is done.  Ladle out the servings that you want into a smaller pot.  For our soup mugs, use 5 ladlefuls per mug. Add in a heaping 1/3 cup Ancini di Pepe pasta per person, and bring to a boil.  Cook until pasta is cooked, about 15-20 minutes.