French Onion Duck Soup: Ingredients Fantastique

I wanted to let you know that the way I cook is not segmented. Yes, I do respond to sudden sniffs of inspiration and the breadth of my dishes are expanse, but I don't cook in a vacuum. I don't flutter about from one project to the next with little hindsight.

I don't go to the market and buy a whole bunch of celery only to use one or two stalks before tossing. I don't buy jars of tom yum paste, use a spoon or two, and retire it to the back of the fridge where it reluctantly takes up foreign stench. I try not to waste.

Life is not blog post to post, it is continuous, and the dishes that happen in between are some of the best. There is inspiration and then there is influence.The ingredients I have influence the next steps I take. Ultimately, they form new dishes. They birth originality, invention.

So, today it is that kind of day, where ingredients , previously intended for other affairs, come together for a dance. French Onion Duck Soup w/ quail egg.

I used duck broth from my previous duck adventure, torpedo onions and green garlic that I bought to pickle, cave-aged gruyere that my parents unloaded on me after finding its taste offensive, a stale piece of bread from who knows, and a quail egg that was given to me for my birthday by Jacky.

This soup is DELICIOUS. It is GREAT. Please take note of the technique and general guidelines and allow this dish to take you wherever your ingredients influence.

French Onion Duck Soup (Two 6-8 oz bowls) Total Time - 1.5 hours

Summary This dish is all about slow cooking onions. There really is no shortcut around time spent concentrating their flavor. Slow food. Slooooow foooood. Also, you will need broiler safe individual french onion soup bowls.

- 2 torpedo onion or 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves green garlic, or 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 T butter
- 1/3 c white wine
- 2 c duck broth or quality stock
- 2 pieces of french bread, slightly stale
- 2 quail eggs
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded cave-aged gruyere
- salt and ground white pepper to taste
- parchment paper, cut a circle of parchment paper that matches the diameter of the saucepan you intend to use.

1. Heat a thick saucepan on medium and melt the butter. Once melted reduce the flame to low and add onions, garlic, a sprinkling of salt, and a pinch of white pepper. Toss lightly to combine and then cover with parchment paper snugly, so that the paper is in contact with the onion mixture.

2. For the next 45 minutes, keep the onion mixture as is (on low, with parchment cover), lifting the paper to stir occasionally. The onions will sweeten, they will not change color until past the 30 minute mark. They will smell irresistible.

3. Remove the parchment cover and turn the heat up to medium to encourage carmelization.

4. Once the onions have caramelized, increase the heat to med-high and the wine. Boil off the alcohol for 2-3 minutes. Add the duck stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.

5. While the soup is simmering, cut the bread so that it can fit into your french onion soup bowl. Dig out a shallow hole in the center of the bread the size of a quail egg yolk. The hole should not go through the whole thickness of the bread. Crack a quail egg and drop the yolk into the hole. Allow the whites to soak into the bread

6. Preheat the broiler.

7. Once the soup is ready, salt to taste. Fill the individual the soup bowls 3/4 way up. Cover with the bread/quail egg. Sprinkle with a very generous helping of cheese. Broil for 4-5 minutes or until the cheese browns. Remove from the oven with gloves. Enjoy!


  1. This is one delicious and luxurious soup Katie. I really like it!

  2. I know that for me nothing feels more restoring then a cup of tasteful Soup~
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe!

    "Join today and enjoy execeptional recipes .Sumit your heirloom recipe for all the world to share~Stop by enjoy!


  3. I think you're on to something with the slow cooking comments. It sounds absolutely delicious!

  4. AnonymousJune 12, 2009

    Good grief. That is truly inspired. I can't wait to go read your wedding cake posts! It really is lovely...I can't believe it's your first one! My first one did NOT look so gorgeous...

  5. I'm trying to imagine the wonderful flavours! I love how you added the egg! Scrumptious.

  6. that looks amazingly delicious. french onion soup is one of my favorite things and i can't even imagine how good it would taste this way.

  7. Wow that looks sublime! I'm totally with you on not wasting food, and some of my best creations have sprung from neglected pantry items.

    I'm thinking I need to roast a duck this weekend...


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