It’s been CHILLY around here lately. It was cold, then it warmed up and finally snowed and now back to 15 below. Brrrrr. When it’s cold you need warm, hot, melty goodness to warm the very soul. Or at least I do. I was casting about thinking of dinner the other night and the miserable cold and I wanted French Onion Soup yet we didn’t have cheese, bread or good grief even onions. I immediately put all of those ingredients on my shopping list. Finally, last night was the night.

I decided to add a bunch of mushrooms to the soup to bulk it up a little bit, round it out a bit. I used 3 baby bellas, about palm size, a good cup of creminis and a some dried porcinis I ground up. WOW. I will never make it any other way again. The mushrooms were tender, meaty delicious and made for a broth so delicious it didn’t need any added beef broth.


French Onion and Mushroom Soup

Course: Lunch, Main Dish, Soup
Cuisine: Alaskan


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 large onions
  • 3 medium baby bella mushrooms about a 1/4 pound--cleaned and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 pound creminis cleaned and chopped
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 quarts water
  • 4-6 slices of dried porcini mushrooms ground to powder or about 1 TBSP of porcini powder
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1/4 cup cold coffee
  • 4 ounces beer optional add water instead
  • 1 loaf french bread
  • 6-8 pound slices of swiss cheese or about a quartershredded


  • melt the butter over medium low heat in a large heavy bottom dutch oven
  • clean onions and slice in half from top to bottom
  • then lay cut side on cutting board and cut top to bottom
  • when the butter is melted add the onions and stir to coat
  • let slowly cook over medium low heat until they are soft, succulent and deliciously caramelized
  • don't let them burn or scorch
  • before they are completely caramelized add the fresh mushrooms and stir to incorporate continue cooking another five minutes or so
  • sprinkle the flour and nutmeg over the onions and mushrooms
  • cook and stir for a few minutes
  • slowly whisk in the water, coffee and beer
  • then whisk in the salt and porcini powder
  • bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so
  • meanwhile get 4-6 heat proof bowls ready on a baking sheet
  • cut as many slices of bread as you need
  • preheat the broiler
  • when the soup is done taste for salt and add as needed
  • then ladle it into the bowls lay a slice or two of bread on top
  • divide the cheese evenly between the bowls covering the bread
  • broil for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly


grind the dried porcinis in a coffee grinder that's been well wiped out or buy porcini powder-Thanks to my good friend Stephanie who turned me on to porcini powder




Yes yes yes. French onion soup definitely benefits from a healthy dose of mushrooms. I’m never going back to a version without it. Why don’t you share a meatless recipe?? If you do you’ll earn ANOTHER entry into my KitchenAid Mixer giveaway!

Did you know that white mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, baby bellas and portabellos are all the same kind mushrooms?? Well they are, each one has just been left to grow a bit longer and they get a meatier texture with age.