Recipe adapted from The Adaptable Feast


 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 thyme sprigs

1 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine

8 cups packaged mushroom stock

1 bay leaf

One 2-inch piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (Most cheese shops sell Par/Reg rind at a reduced price – at The Lady’s kiosk it is Half-Price)

¼ teaspoon dried savory

Twelve ½-inch-thick slices crusty baguette

½ teaspoon minced garlic

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups grated Gruyère cheese (about 8 ounces)

1 beef bouillon cube (such as Knorr brand) or 1 tablespoon veal demiglace Base


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and thyme and cook, stirring, until the onions begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add ½ cup of the vermouth and, using a wooden spoon, scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the vermouth has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining ½ cup vermouth, scrape the pan again and simmer for 4 minutes longer. Transfer the onions to a 3-quart stockpot and add the mushroom stock, bay leaf, Parmigiano-Reggiano rind and savory. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.

 2. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet. Smash the garlic into a paste with the side of a knife and combine with the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a small bowl. Brush the baguette slices with the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Place 1 slice of toast in the bottom of each of 4 ovenproof soup bowls.

Preheat the broiler.

 3. For the vegetarian variation: Remove the thyme sprigs, bay leaf and cheese rind

from the soup and discard. Transfer 2½ cups of the soup to a small saucepan, season

with salt and pepper and keep warm over low heat.

4.Add the bouillon cube to the remaining soup in the large pot and simmer for 5 minutes.

 Season with salt and pepper.

 5. For the vegetarian variation: Ladle the vegetarian soup into an ovenproof bowl, top

with 2 baguette slices and sprinkle with one quarter of the cheese. Place the bowl on a

rimmed baking sheet.

 6.Fill the remaining 3 bowls with the bouillon-flavored soup and top with the remaining

baguette slices and cheese. Place the bowls on the baking sheet. Broil the soups, watching closely, until the cheese is bubbly and brown, about 2 minutes.

Serve immediately.

 For the vegan variation: Omit the cheese rind in the soup, omit the cheese topping;

serve with garlicky baguette toasts only.

 Serves 1 vegetarian and 3 omnivores




As mentioned in my “sister” blog, there are interlopers at the manse who show no sign of leaving. One of them is Miss Anne and fortunately for you, my loyal readers, she has made herself useful since arriving my cooking this stick-to-your-ribs tasty soup.


10 Baking Potatoes (Bake 24 hours in advance for better flavor)


1-2 Pats of Tillamook Salted Butter

I Large, Sweet Onion, diced

3 Large Celery Stalks, chopped

4 Cans of Chicken Broth

5 Chicken Bouillon Cubes

2 Sticks of Tillamook Salted Butter (Paula Dean would approve of this recipe)

24 Ounces of Heavy Whipping Cream (No one said this was low calorie)

4 Heaping tablespoons Flour

Peas and Carrots

2 Cups Shredded Tillamook Medium Cheddar

Salt, Pepper and other Seasonings can be added according to your tastes. Miss Anne says the bouillon cubes adds enough extra seasoning for her tastes…and mine as well…although The Lady did crack some fresh pepper on hers.



According to Miss Anne, this soup is better if the potatoes are baked the day before. However, you can microwave or boil them the same day as when the soup is eaten.

  1. Wash, dry and oil the skins of the potatoes and bake them. (Miss Anne baked them for one hour at 450°.) After cooling, store in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Pre-heat Soup pot and add 1-2 pats of butter for sautéing the celery and onion.
  3. Prepare onion and celery and put in pot and sauté for a few minutes while…
  4. Dice baked potatoes. Not too small. (Miss Anne does not puree this soup so the potatoes retian their shape.)
  5. Add chicken broth and bouillon to pot. Bring to a simmer.
  6. Add butter to broth, onions and celery in pot.
  7. Add potatoes to broth mixture. Return to simmer and let simmer until potatoes are cooked.
  8.  Place heavy cream in container with top and add flour. Shake until thoroughly mixed.
  9. When potatoes can be easily pierced with fork, add peas and carrots. Return to simmer.
  10. Add flour and cream mixture to thicken soup. Return to simmer until desired thickness is achieved.
  11. Add Tillamook Medium Cheddar cheese (shredded).
  12. Serve.


Serves 8 to 10.