Gluten Free French Onion Soup

One of my all time favorite soups is French Onion soup. I remember the last time I had it before going gluten-free years ago. Since then I have longed to enjoy this delicious soup again, but I have never found it on a gluten-free menu. This summer, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make it myself. It is a fairly easy soup to make, but it is very time consuming. I decided to make it again recently and I loved how this recipe turned out. Thankfully, I wrote everything down while I was cooking in hopes of sharing it all with you here. Please note this site and this post include affiliate links.

I made this soup using my 8.5qt stainless steel Calphalon Dutch oven. I don’t think my exact one is available anymore, but found two similar pots (click here and here). If you don’t have this exact style pot, you will just want to use a well-made, large, heavy pot that heats evenly; I believe this helps with the caramelization. The Le Creuset Dutch oven or something similar would also work well. To serve this soup, I ordered soup crocks and soup spoons to make sure we got the “real” French onion soup feel. When we traveled to Ireland a few years ago, I had the most delicious soups throughout our trip and they were always served with the best soup spoons. Having these spoons at home now reminds me of our time in Ireland.

I hope you try and enjoy this recipe!

The Ingredients:

Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 2 hours Servings: About 8

  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) of unsalted butter
  • 6lbs of yellow onions, sliced into half moons
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1.5 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 large cloves of garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1.5 c red wine (I used a red blend)
  • 32oz low sodium beef stock
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 4-8oz Gruyere cheese thinly sliced or grated
  • 1 Gluten Free Baguette 

The Directions:

  • Slice the onions into half-moon shape and set aside in a large bowl.
  • Melt butter over medium/low heat then add the onions and stir to coat the onions into the melted butter.
  • Over medium/low heat, regularly stir the onions and bay leaf. You will need to keep an eye on the pot to make sure the onions do not stick. For this amount of onions, the caramelization process can take up to 1.5 hrs
  • Once the onions start to darken (about 30 minutes) add the dark brown sugar which will help with caramelizing the onions.
  • When the onions are close to fully caramelized (about 1.25 hrs), add black pepper, thyme and fresh garlic then stir.
  • When the onions have a dark, rich color and are fully caramelized add red wine to deglaze. Let the alcohol cook out and reduce the liquid for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add the beef stock and 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar which will help to balance out the sweetness of the onions and sugar. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes.
  • While you soup simmers, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Taste your soup. If it’s still too sweet, gradually add another tbsp of vinegar and season with salt to taste.
  • Slice your baguette (or brea of your choice), drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven.
  • Spoon your soup into the crocks, add toasted bread and top with gruyere cheese.
  • Place the crocks on a baking sheet and broil on high about about 5 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted and slightly charred.
  • Top with a sprinkle of dried (or fresh) thyme and serve.

Cooking Notes:

  • This soup is heavier on the onions than it is on the stock. If you prefer you soup to have more broth, you can add some while cooking, but you may have to adjust the seasonings to maintain the flavor.
  • When I reheated this soup, I added a little extra stock each time.

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Butcher Box Review

Hi Friends! Today’s blog is all about Butcher Box. The waitlist that was implemented earlier this year due to the pandemic has been lifted, so new customers can sign-up now. I am going to share all that I think you need to know before you first order. Speaking of first orders, Butcher Box is currently running a $15 off promotion for new customers (click here – I’ll get $15 back with this code too). If you’re on the fence about trying it out, I hope this post helps. We have ordered from Butcher Box a few times a year for just about 2 years. Overall we have been really happy with the quality!

If you take a peak at their website, you will learn that Butcher Box has quickly grown from a start-up company to one of the nation’s top online sources for grass-fed beef. They have very high standards when it come to product sourcing, sustainability and humanely raise animals (click here to read more on BB sourcing). This means that customers are getting high quality beef, pork and poultry. Butcher Box beef is 100% grass-fed!

Butcher Box is a subscription service for grass-fed beef, free-range and non-GMO organic chicken, heritage pork and wild seafood. Although it’s a subscription, you have the option to delay or change your shipment days. This means you don’t have to commit to it every month. We order roughly once per quarter to supplement our grocery store purchases. Usually we save our BB items for weekends when we have more time to dedicate to cooking a nice meal. It’s also a great option for a home date night.

Source: Butcherbox.com

You start by selecting your box type (custom or random) and size (classic or big). There is currently a $20 difference between the custom classic and custom random boxes. The random selections do allow you some preferences (see below), but you don’t have full control over your order. We are a family of 2 and have enjoyed the custom classic option. It allows us to pick 6 selections of our choice. I feel that this ensures we get our money’s worth and truly look forward to cooking each item. Something I also like about Butcher Box is that on their website they provided suggested uses for each selection along with more detailed recipes. You order will be shipped to you with dry ice. All of the items are frozen, so you should transfer them directly to the freezer upon arrival.

Although the pricing may initially seem high, think of it this way. The custom classic box is currently $149. Let’s say you chose 6 orders of organic chicken breast, you will receive roughly 18 lbs of chicken. That comes out to about $8.27/lb which I feel is pretty on-par with my local grocery store for organic chicken breast.

When it comes to quality, Butcher Box is top notch. We have loved just about everything that we have tried. My husband {who is not a picky eater} can always tell when I cook with Butcher Box. That’s how noticeable the quality is in comparison to organic brands you find in the grocery store. For the quality alone, I can’t recommend Butcher Box enough. I also like having the option to try beef or pork cuts that I wouldn’t typically pick up in the grocery store. It’s a great way to try new recipes at home.

Items that we have tried and loved:

  • Boneless Skinless chicken breast
  • Chicken party wings
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Whole chicken
  • Ground beef
  • Steak tips
  • Stew beef
  • Sirloin steak
  • NY strip steak
  • Flat iron steak
  • Filet mignon
  • Boneless pork chops
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Ground pork
  • Ground breakfast sausage
  • Babyback ribs
  • Bacon
  • Whole turkey (available around Thanksgiving)

The only item we were not crazy about has been the pre-made beef burger patties. Otherwise, everything has been fantastic. There are few negatives I want to share to ensure you get my full and honest opinion. Since everything comes frozen, you do have to plan ahead to ensure you properly thaw you selection in time for your meal. Additionally, since everything is frozen it can be hard to tell how many pieces of chicken, wings or steaks are in a package. For chicken breast specifically, there have been times that I felt I did not get a full 3 lbs of chicken in my selection.

Through social media I have seen others highlight some packaging issues upon arrival. I did not notice any packaging issues with my orders until this year. One of our selections had a tear in the packaging. Fortunately, Butcher Box’s customer service has been great and they quickly made good on the issue. I carefully inspect each piece before putting in my freezer to ensure it’s fully sealed. I would encourage you all to do the same.

To see how I use Butcher Box in my kitchen, be sure to follow me on Instagram (@redroseandhoney). Don’t forget to use THIS LINK to save $15 on your first order – I’ll save $15 when you sign-up too!

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Waikiki Travel Guide Part 1 | Gluten-Free

Welcome back! In this blog, I am sharing Part 1 of my Waikiki Travel Guide: Where to eat, stay and play! If you are traveling to the Waikiki area, I would recommend keeping in mind that it is crowded, but there is also a lot to do. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, we rented a car which made it much easier to explore the surrounding area. We definitely could have seen more while we were there, but our time on Oahu was a good mix of relaxation and adventure.

While on Oahu we spent one morning hiking the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail. This trail features a newly paved, extra wide path which makes this hike very walkable.  However, I think I would consider it to be an intermediate hike. It was pretty long and at times it was also steep, but I saw people of all ages, shapes and sizes along the trail. Little dogs too! I would recommend bringing water, SPF, a hat and wearing comfortable sneakers. The views from this trail were amazing. The earlier you can start, the better, because the parking areas fill up and can add additional walking to your hike.

After the hike we went to Kona Brewery for lunch. The restaurant and brewery are located on a marina which offered a nice breeze after our long hike. I also love anywhere with outdoor seating on the water. Kona’s menu has great gluten-free options, so I highly recommend it if you’re looking for GF dining. Our waiter was very knowledgeable about gluten allergies and even let me know they don’t fry any of their food. I got a gluten-free beer and a GIANT platter with nachos with chicken. I wish I could go to this place every week! My non-GF husband also enjoyed his lunch and trying out new Kona beers {some of which were only available in Hawaii}.

Pearl Harbor was a must-see for us while in Hawaii. My husband is a big history buff, so he was extra excited for this tour. Unfortunately, the USS Arizona memorial was undergoing repairs while we were visiting, so we were only able to take a boat ride around the memorial. The boat ride alone was enough to bring me to tears. After touring the memorial, we make our way to the Laniakea Beach area. We stopped at the North Shore Tacos food truck which had gluten-free options and did their best to prevent cross contamination. I was definitely nervous about trying a food truck, but it was delicious and I didn’t get sick. I found this food truck through findmeglutenfree.com and looked at recent comments. The fresh salsa was one of the best I’ve ever had and we loved the chicken tacos. After lunch we headed over to a quiet beach area where we saw tons of huge sea turtles! My husband told me that we weren’t too far from the beach where scenes of the show LOST was filmed.

Kalakaua Avenue is the main street running through Waikiki along the beach. It is filled with stores, restaurants and lots of people. On Kalakaua you will find tons of high end stores and a few shopping malls. Within one of the mall-like areas, we found Flour & Barley where we stopped for lunch. This restaurant has a lot of gluten-free options on the menu. Our server was very knowledgeable about the menu, gluten concerns and was overall very attentive. Mike and I both opted for pizza. I went with the gluten-free Sicilian style pizza with veggies. It was a good lunch {didn’t knock our socks off}, but in all honesty, it was very overpriced, even for Waikiki — $4 watered down ginger ale and $10 beers. Still a good options for GF eaters though.