Spending Strike: Day 27 - French Onion Soup for TWO

A few weeks ago the weather was pretty shitty here in Eastern Iowa. Hey, I'm just being honest. The high temperature one day was -15*… that's actual temperature, folks. With windchill, the temperature was between -45 and -55 degrees, depending on your location in Eastern Iowa. It was nuts!

Of course, this was a 'hunker down' day, so I spent time organizing and filing paperwork in our office, working on the blog, farting around on Pinterest...and cooking.


One of my favorite soups was actually one I ate a lot in college. I went to Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. There is a little restaurant on the main drag in town called the East Bremer Diner, or EBD for short. They are known for their homemade salad dressings and their French onion soup.

On that blustery evening a few nights ago, I channeled my inner Wartburg Knight and whipped up a perfect, simple, nourishing French onion soup for two. The soup used ingredients I already had in my pantry, which is a good thing since this spending strike prevents me from grabbing extravagant ingredients from the grocery store.

Without further ado:

Simple French Onion Soup for Two

You'll need: 
2 T. butter
1 cup sliced yellow onion
2 cups beef stock (preferably homemade, but you can use whatever you've got)
1 t. Worcestershire
dash of black pepper
2 chunks of French bread
1 cup of grated swiss or provolone cheese (I used two thick slices of provolone)

Sautee your onions in the butter over medium-low heat.

It will take about 10 minutes for them to become soft and golden brown. And that's what you want! The more caramelized your onions become, the sweeter they taste. Let those babies sweat it out in your pan, would ya?

While that's happening on the stovetop, you're going to want to cut a few chunks of bread off the loaf that's sitting on your counter.

What? You don't have a loaf of crusty bread hanging out on your counter at all times? What kind of city homesteader are you?!

Just kidding.

But really, though. I almost always have a loaf of this bread on my counter. And a spare loaf in the freezer. 'Cuz that's how I roll.

Toast that bread in the oven at 350* for a few minutes until it gets crunchy. When the bread is done toasting, switch the broiler on. You'll be needing that in a few minutes.

When your onions are caramelized to your liking, add the beef stock, black pepper, and Worcestershire.

Stir it up and let it simmer for about 10 more minutes.

Then, ladle your onion soup into two oven and broiler-safe dishes.

I have little lids for my dishes, but I won't be using the lids in the oven, of course. After that, carefully place your chunks of toasted bread into the soup.

 And then, my favorite part!

Cover the soup and bread with cheese! Tasty, glorious cheese!

I used sliced provolone, since that's what I had. You can use whatever you have, too. Hell, I would even use cheddar if I were in a pinch. It might not taste very good, but there's no way you can have French onion soup without melted cheese on top.

Now you're ready to place your soup in the oven under the broiler for about 7 minutes, or until the cheese looks like this:

Oh, Lawd have mercy. This soup looks {and tastes!} delicious. And, see what I mean about cheese being a necessity?

It looked and tasted just like I remember from East Bremer Diner. Comfort food doesn't get much better than that, folks.

Here are today's spending strike numbers -

Money Spent Today: $0
Running Total: $75
Money We Didn't Spend: $0


  1. Looks good damn good, girl! Of course, I would need to make that times 16 to feed my clan. :-) {got a link to those fab bowls????}...

    1. The bowls are from Bed Bath and Beyond in their Everyday White line. Here's the BB&B link - couldn't find them on Amazon, of course: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/Everyday-White-reg-Soup-Crocks-Set-of-4/1014551948?Keyword=soup+crocks

  2. Looks great! Found you on the Iowa Bloggers link party. I am happy to have found some other Iowa bloggers. Stop over to mycreativedays.com some time!

    1. Welcome, Lindsay! I'll add your blog to my list of favorites :)

    2. I made this soup and it was wonderful. I did double it and also added a little thyme and a little soy sauce. Absolutely delicious

  3. This looks fabulous!

    This is one of my husband's favorites soups; I might just have to try to make it at home. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. I just made it for my mom, grandparents and I - of course I doubled the recipe. It's a favorite now!

  4. I live 15-20 minutes away from Waverly! I like the EBD. I always get their broiled shrimp it's so good (basically shrimp scampi). I've never tried their french onion soup but I'll have to. Your recipe looks really yummy and I'm glad it's for 2! There are only 2 of us and most recipes especially soup feed a lot more!

    1. I hear ya! I don't enjoy eating leftovers for days and days, so anytime I can concoct a recipe for two, I'm down.

  5. I have never been a fan of French Onion soup but this looks mighty tasty. I bet I just never had a good cup of it before, right?

  6. Awesome recipe. Almost like mine. I just add a little more Worcestershire sauce. Love that stuff. Love your blog too!
    I think I missed the post on the no spending month though. Not sure how, but would love the first post so I can catch up.

    1. Thanks, Bobbi. Here's a link to all of the Spending Strike posts from the beginning: http://www.thesustainablecouple.com/search/label/Spending%20Strike%21

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