French Onion Soup “Réinventé”

April 07, 2017 12:41 PM

The following recipe is from CIA Chef Jason Potanovich and will be featured on his new spring menu at The Bocuse Restaurant.

French Onion Soup “Réinventé”

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Reinvented French Onion Soup with Charred Leeks,

Caramelized Sweet Onions, and Cipollini Onion Purée

French Onion Soup “Réinventé”

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Onion Broth (recipe follows)

Charred Leeks (recipe follows)

Caramelized Sweet Onions (recipe follows)

Cipollini Onion Purée (recipe follows)

Torn Sourdough Bread with melted Gruyère Cheese (recipe follows)

Prepare each of the above recipes in the order that they appear.

To serve the soup: Arrange all the different components in the bottom of the bowl placing different colors and textures spaced artistically around the bowl.

Pour the hot broth into a pitcher or into a soup terrine with a ladle.

Serve the bowl with the garnishes to your guests and pour or ladle the hot broth into the bowls.

Onion Broth

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Canola oil as needed for sweating the onions

5 pounds thinly sliced white onions

Salt and Pepper to taste

8 ounces sweet Sherry

½ gallon low sodium chicken stock

½ gallon low sodium beef stock

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 Sachet d’Épices (spice bag) (recipe follows)


Add the enough canola oil to cover the bottom of a 2-gallon stock pot and heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions into the pan. Sauté the onions over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until they caramelize, about 30 to 40 minutes.  Do not add any salt, as that will extract liquid out of the onions. 

Once the onions are caramelized, season with a little salt and pepper. Deglaze the pan by adding the Sherry all at once.  Allow the wine to reduce until almost all the liquid is evaporated. Add the stocks, bay leaves, thyme, and sachet. Cook until it begins to slowly simmer and continue to simmer slowly for approximately 40 minutes, until the onions are tender. 

Remove from heat and strain soup through a fine mesh sieve.

Cool the broth and lightly season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sachet d’Épices

Makes one bag

2 parsley stems

2 cracked peppercorns

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

Cut a piece of cheesecloth large enough to enclose the spices in to form a loosely gathered pouch.  Add all of the ingredients into the center of the cheesecloth. Gather up the sides and tie the top with butcher’s twine. Allow enough extra twine to attach the bag to the pot handle once it is in the pot so you can easily remove it later.

Charred Leeks:

1 whole leek, washed and trimmed

Low sodium chicken stock as needed

¼ teaspoon salt, plus as needed

1/8 teaspoon pepper, plus as needed

Ice water bath


Place the leek in a sauce pot large enough to hold the leek whole. Add enough chicken stock to cover the leek, and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

Bring the stock up to a boil and cook the whole leek until tender, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. 

While the leek is cooking, prepare an ice bath.

Once the leek is tender, remove it from the pan and place it in the ice water to shock it and stop the cooking process. 

Once cooled, remove the leek from the ice bath and slice it into 1½-inch rings. Place rings in a cast iron frying pan and heat over medium-high heat, turning as needed until they are charred to a very dark brown color.

Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Caramelized Sweet Onions

4 to 5 tablespoons Canola oil

2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced

Add enough canola oil into a sauté pan to cover bottom of pan and heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions to the pan. Sauté over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until they caramelize, about 30 to 40 minutes.  Do not add any salt, as that will extract the liquid out of the onions. 

Place the onions on a plate and store on ice in the refrigerator to cool.

Cipollini Onion Purée

20 Cipollini onions  

Salt as needed.   

Slice the onions very thin and place into a rondeau or a straight-sided frying pan.

Cook the onions over low heat to sweat them. Continue to cook until they are caramelized, approximately 20 minutes.

As soon as they caramelize, remove from heat and drain off any excess juice they may have. 

Place the onions into a blender and purée until smooth. 

Allow this to cool completely.

Torn Sourdough Bread with Melted Gruyère Cheese

½ of a loaf of Sourdough bread

½ cup Gruyère cheese, shredded

Remove the crust from the sourdough on all sides.  Pull the bread to make rough looking croutons, each about 2 inches in size.

Arrange the croutons onto a baking sheet and top with Gruyère. Place in a 350 degree F oven, for approximately 3 to 4 minutes to melt the cheese. Serve immediately.


WNYT Staff

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