Quarantine Cooking with BBV's Chef - French Onion Soup

Updated: Jan 7

Stuck in quarantine and running out of ideas for dinner, or just really missing Bear Brook?! Bring a taste of Bear Brook Valley into your home with Chef Cam's very own recipes straight from the menu. Cam is the executive chef at BBV, formerly the head chef at our sister venue, Rock Island Lake Club in Sparta. Chef Cam brings both experience and passion to the kitchen. Today he's cooking up French onion soup!

What you'll need:

1 red onion

1 Spanish onion

1 white onion

2 small shallots 

Bone in beef or 2 quarts of beef stock 

1/2 cup butter 

2 bay leaves 

2 fresh thyme sprigs 

1 cup of red wine 

1 loaf of French baguette 

1/2 lb of Swiss or Gruyere


1. In a large pot in medium to high heat, add the butter until it’s melted.

2. Add garlic and onions to begin the caramelization process.

3. Next, add your thyme and bay leaves.  This should take around 20-25 minutes depending on your stove. Just make sure to keep stirring the onions so that the sugar doesn’t stick to the bottom. If you begin to have a lot of sticking on the bottom, add a small amount of water to deglaze and lower the heat.

4. Once your onions are caramelized, remove the bay leaves and thyme springs and discard.

5. Next, add the wine to deglaze the bottom of the pot, and let the onions absorb the wine.

6. After, add the flour slowly and stir into the onions. Turn your heat down so that the flour doesn’t burn. Allow the flour to cook into your onions for for 3-5 minutes (this step gives the soup more body). If you start to have sticking, add a small amount of the beef stock.

7. The last step for your soup is to add the rest of the beef stock. Cam always adjusts the level of liquid and brings the soup back to a simmer and reduce the stock for a nice deep flavor. This should take 10-12 minutes. Adjust your flavor with salt and pepper. 

8. When you are ready to eat, cut the French baguette into small squares. Add the soup to an oven safe bowl, then place the cut pieces of bread on top followed by the slices of cheese. Place your oven on a sheet pan or a baking sheet that is safe to handle with some weight. Cook at approximately 350 degrees for 3-5 minuets or until the cheese is melted. Keep in mind that the soup should be hot before you put it in the oven so speed the cooking process.

Let us know if you tried this recipe out and tag @bearbrookvalley in your photo! French Onion Soup Bites is a new option on the cocktail hour menu (pictured below)!

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