Sunday, October 31, 2010

German Onion Soup (Ueberbackene Zwiebelsuppe) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays & Regional Recipes: Germany

Yesterday I spent the morning making soups in a Hearty Ethnic Vegan Soups class, then I toted several quarts of said soups home (Tuscan Bean, Moroccan Red Lentil-Bean Stew, Mexican Black Bean, and Thai Vegetable Stew) and that afternoon made MORE soup. What possessed me to add to my soup collection? Well I procrastinated on Regional Recipes: Germany this month and since I love this monthly event and its host, the wonderful Joanne of Eats Well With Others, I decided to sneak in a German soup on the last day. Luckily, besides the Thai Vegetable Stew with its coconut milk, the other soups will freeze well, giving me a good variety of comforting soupy goodness for the next couple of weeks. ;-)

Looking online, there were a lot of hearty German soups to make, many with potatoes and cabbage, but this German Onion Soup or "Ueberbackene Zwiebelsuppe" (try saying that fast three times!) caught my eye. The author says, "Cousin to French onion soup, this light colored version deglazes the pan with white wine and uses chicken or vegetable broth as a soup base." I think of it as the younger, blonder, thinner cousin to French onion soup, and it is easy to make, delicious and not quite so heavy--all pluses in my book!

German Onion Soup (Ueberbackene Zwiebelsuppe)
By Jennifer McGavin,
(Serves 4)

2 cups (4 medium or 2 large) onions, sliced
1 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 quart broth, vegetable or chicken
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Salt, if broth needs it, to taste
4 slices French bread or 1 roll cut into 8 slices
1/2 cup grated cheese, gruyère or gouda

Sauté onions in butter over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until they start turning golden brown. Stir occasionally. Add the white wine, then the broth, bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Grate some fresh nutmeg into the soup and add some pepper. Taste and add salt, if necessary.

While soup is cooking toast the bread slices.

To serve, scoop some soup into an oven safe individual bowl, add a slice of toast, sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over it and put the bowls on a cookie sheet or similar. Broil until cheese melts and turns and attractive brown. Be careful when serving and eating as the soup and the bowls are very hot.

Tips: This is a great soup to make ahead and reheat. You may want to add fresh thyme sprigs or bay leaf to the soup. Remove before serving.

Notes/Results: Excellent--in fact, I think I like it better than French Onion Soup. It had plenty of flavor from the white wine and the homemade chicken stock I used. I also tossed in a bay leaf and some fresh sprigs of thyme from my herb garden as the recipe tip suggested. I removed the bay leaf but just pulled out the stems and left the thyme leaves in. I am not a huge nutmeg fan, but a little works well in this soup. For the toast I used a rosemary-garlic baguette and topped it with microplane-grated gruyère. Because the cheese was grated so finely it melted right into the bread which tasted great. Although it doesn't look like much cheese is on top, trust me there was plenty. My only oven-secure soup bowls large enough to fit bread in are pretty big, so this soup made two large servings. I would make this again.

It is standing room only in the Souper Sunday kitchen this Halloween, with I think one of our largest, if not the largest round ups to date. Many old friends and new are here with lots of delicious soups (and a few salads too), so let's get started!

Debbie from The Friday Friends is back with us this week and with a cheesy-chicken "Souper Soup" that is sure to cure your ills. Debbie says, "Today I felt so "blah" and stuffed up and achy, (and was tired of eating leftover Mexican food) that when my friend sent me this recipe for Souper Soup, I thought I'd have to try it. It was hot, soothing, quick, easy and good! It was just the comfort food I needed."

Carla from Recipe Addict is here this week with her favorite Bennigan's Potato Soup. She says, "This is soup that will make you want to lick the bowl. Go ahead, no one's looking. I am not going to lie to you, I have. It is that good. I first fell in love with it when we lived about two blocks away from a Bennigan's Restaraunt in Clearwater, Florida. Every time we went there this was the first thing I ordered. Even before I could decide what I was going to have to drink, I knew I was going to have a bowl of this delicious soup. And ever since I found this recipe I have been making this in large batches to keep in the freezer, for when I'm having a craving (which is frequently) for it."

We have several new faces and friends to welcome to Souper Sundays this week, starting with Ramona, The Paper Princess from Create With Joy. Here with a hearty Maple Beef Stew, she says, "This stew is as perfect for the cool crisp days of Autumn as it is for the bone-chilling days of Winter! There is something comforting in the knowledge that a nice hearty bowl of stew awaits you at the end of a long day. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. Bon Appétit!"

Let's also welcome Nicole from Cocoa and Coriander: Nico's Tiny Kitchen, joining us for the first time from my old hometown of Portland, Oregon. Nicole used her leftovers wisely for this hearty Pulled Pork and Cannellini Bean Chili and says, "This chili was really spicy, so use fewer peppers and less chili powder if you're heat sensitive. I would say my heat sensitivity is pretty average but I can eat spicier dishes if they are also very flavorful. And this chili was very flavorful."

Another newbie making her first appearance is Kurinji of Kurinji Kathambam, blogging from India and with two healthy soups to share. About the first, this Mixed Vegetable Soup she says, "This is healthy soup because it contains several vegetables. Except brinjal and ladies finger, you can add any vegetables which children does not like to have. I came across this recipe in a cooking book."

Kurinji's second soup is this figure-friendly pressure cooker Clear Cabbage Soup about which she says, "If you intake this every morning instead of coffee, it will help you reduce your weight."

Another new face this week is Shruthi from Shrunil Flavors, blogging from Dallas, Texas. Shruthi has a revitalizing Mint Coriander Soup this week and says, "During my pregnancy, mom used to make soups and salads for me. This soup is extremely simple to do and tastier and ir just re-freshens after a busy day. Its also good to have during cold. It gives instant relief."

An old friend making her first visit to Souper Sundays is Simona from briciole, joining us from Italy. I know Simona through her participation in Cook The Books and I am excited to have her here today with a gorgeous Fava Bean Purée (Macco di Fave). Simona says, "I consider myself a minimalist in the kitchen, and this recipe appealed to me for its simplicity which does not come at the expense of flavor. In case you have never tasted dried fava beans, they are quite flavorful. And the peperoncino adds some heat to the macco."

Our final newbie of the week is Brenda from Sense of Home blogging from the Northern Plains of the U.S. and here with a warming bowl of Clam Chowder. Brenda says, "This is a hearty, stick to your ribs soup. A half bowl fills me up. I believe this soup would also be good without the clams, just call it potato soup. We don't have fresh clams, we are way to far from the ocean for that. The canned clams are ok, but certainly fresh would make this clam chowder taste even better. You could use skim milk to lighten the soup up, but why would you want to ruin that rich flavor. Really, keep the full flavor and eat half a bowl."

The lovely Debby from a Feast for the Eyes made a colorful Roasted Carrot & Ginger Soup this week. She says, "Speaking for my husband, he asked me what was in the soup. He said it had delicious flavor, but he questioned if it was really carrot soup. He said it was sweet, creamy and flavorful. He ate two bowls, as did I. This is guilt-free soup, because it's creamy without any kind of heavy cream added. The balance of ginger was very subtle. The natural sweetness of the carrots was the star, but you could taste a mild heat of the ginger as you swallowed."

Donna from My Tasty Treasures is here with a fast and easy Hearty Chicken Vegetable and Noodle Soup and enthuses, "Are you a busy mom? Do you have no time to make homemade soup? Need the PERFECT recipe for an after work meal that is down to your soul satisfying? OK then this is for you! This soup, OMG, what can I NOT say about this soup? It comes together QUITE simply, and the taste is utterly fantastic!! Warm, liquid comfort in your bowl in a matter of 30 minutes!! Easy, peasy, people."

It is nice to have my friend Christine from Kits Chow back this week and with a soul-filling stew-like Cottage Pie, Pâté Chinois. Christine says, "You'll never find Paté chinois on a menu in a Chinese restaurant. Pâté Chinois is a popular Québec dish, a gratin of meat topped with mashed potatoes. A British person taking a bite of Paté chinois would recognize it as Cottage Pie or Shepherd's pie. ... Whatever its name, it is perfect, comfort food and just the thing to eat on a rainy day in Vancouver."

Fall means I get to see Pam from Sidewalk Shoes pretty regularly at Souper Sundays--always a treat! Pam has a White Bean, Sausage and Kale Soup to share and says, "Whenever I have kale, I make some variation of this soup. It’s never the same, and it’s always good. For this version: some sausage, white navy beans, kale, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, a few fresh bay leaves, a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary, and salt and pepper. That’s it. I dumped it all in the slow cooker (except for the kale) and went about my day. About an hour before serving, I stirred in the chopped kale."

Erin from EKat's Kitchen made soup to share this week and says about this Savory Harvest Veggie Stoup, "This has just been one of those weeks. Craving soups, pastas, and all those delicious foods that scream comfort and cooler weather. It was cooler, but it's back in the 70s here in Southern Colorado. No matter. This is one of my favorite recipes, and I don't make it that often, though now I've learned more about what my slow cooker can do, it may be a more common dish at our house!"

My fabulous friend Heather of girlichef makes it very clear she doesn't want to be a vampire, especially after eating this enticing Garlic Soup. She says, "I love popping one of the cheesy croutons into my mouth when it is permeated with the garlicky broth. If you've used a good bread and toasted it until it was very crunchy, the croutons will hold that liquid inside while still staying crusty around the edges...aaaahhhhhhh. Vampires can't do that." So true girlichef! ;-)

Soup-loving Gwen from Simply Healthy Family is back for her second Souper Sunday week with a zesty bowl. Gwen says, "My mom and I used to go to Olive Garden to have soup and salad for lunch. Pretty much the only thing I've ever had at Olive Garden was their Zuppa Toscana and house salad. Of course over the years their soup has consisted of more broth and less filling and flavour.So, of course I started making my own. It's more flavourful and healthier and my whole family can enjoy Zuppa Toscana in the comfort of our home for much less than it costs to eat out. Who takes 4 kids out to a restaurant anyway?"

Slow cooker guru Zibi from Fresh Slowcooking has a pretty fall-inspired Not Too Sweet Potato and Apple Soup to share this week and says, "This sweet potato, apple and carrot soup is seasoned with cinnamon, cloves and fennel. Hot, spicy and comforting — but definitely not too sweet to enjoy a whole bowl. The carrots, and fennel not only reduced the sweetness of the soup, they added their own delicate flavours to mix. This soup makes an amazing winter appetizer or lunch."

Megha from Live to eat!!! has both a soup and a salad to share this week. About her warming and uniquely-spiced Pumpkin & Carrot Soup--Spiced with Cinnamon & Wasabi, she says, "Halloween is tomorrow and even I wanted to contribute to the blog stream by dishing up some hot soup. It is also the time to eat and share good food."

About her Japanese Tofu Salad (Shiraae), Megha says, "There are times when you want to eat lite after all the binging you have been doing on weekends. Here is a one meal with all the nutrients that you would require. Shiraae is an easy to prepare Japanese salad with mashed tofu; seasoned with sesame paste. I have used substitutes to bring the salad as close to the original."

Janet from The Taste Space made a colorful Yam, Zucchini & Chickpea Salad and says, "First, I roasted the yam until soft and sweet. Roasted zucchini was also added, which added a nice lightness to the salad. Next, I pan-roasted my chickpeas. I can not get over how wonderful pan-roasted chickpeas are, creamy, nutty and flavourful.Next, the simple dressing was a winner. A bit of lemon with a dash of tahini. Creamy, nutty, full-bodied flavour that worked so well with the yams, zucchini and chickpeas. A delicious, healthy, satisfying salad."

Finally Lana from Bibberche joins us again with a unique Lentils and Plantain Salad from the blog Forks, Fingers, Chopsticks and about which she says, "Everything seemed weird when I read the recipe. But, again, everything made sense. I served it as a side dish to some tasty enchiladas, and after some raised eyebrows trying to ascertain if the ingredients worked, a thumbs up appeared, reassuring me that this dish was a winner."

Yowza--My soup bowl and salad plates runneth over today! So many delicious-looking dishes my mouth was watering as I did this round up. Many thanks to everyone who joined in today and welcome again to all of our new faces.

If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Happy Halloween Everyone!


  1. I'm making German Onion soup for dinner tonight...because I was going to make English onion soup but I was unable to find any suitable leeks! :)
    Can't wait to try out some of the delish looking soups!

  2. Deb, what a fantastic round up!! I don't know where to start in picking favorites from this! Your onion soup looks fantastic -- onion soup is one of my favorites, and I look forward to making soon! Thank you for hosting this lovely round up once again.

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  4. Dear Deb,

    Thank you for including me in our round-up this week - your soup, as well as the other featured recipes, all look FABULOUS!

    I already see several recipes I would love to try - I look forward to sharing this link with several friends and family members who are soup lovers as well!

    Have a wonderful week and I look forward to joining you again in the future!


  5. What a great collection of submissions for this week Souper Sunday. Onion soup is one of may favorite soups and since I have not made it in a while, I am glad to have the German version inspire me. Thanks for the roundup. I can't wait to read the details of all these inviting-looking dishes.

  6. Wow! What a lineup of great recipes. Welcome to the new contributors! Deb, my Mutti would be proud of your German soup. I'm bookmarking this, since the temps are dipping at night. Thanks for including me.

  7. definitely a lot of entries today...delicious!

  8. Wow - your German onion soup looks great! AND there are so many other wonderful, tempting soup recipes included, to boot! Another beautiful, tasty round-up, Deb.

  9. Your German onion soup looks really good. Good enough to try. It seems so easy, so there's no reason not to give it a shot. The crusty, cheesey bread on top is always the best part.

  10. wow what an amazing soup YUM, always enjoy your soups


  11. Jennifer--too funny! ;-) Hope you like the German version. Thanks for stopping by. ;-)

    Erin--thank you and mahalo for joining in! ;-)

    Ramona--thank you & I look forward to having you back again! ;-)

    Simona--such a treat to have you at SS--please come back again soon! ;-)

    Debby--awh--so happy that your Mutti would be proud! ;-)

    Kat--mahalo! ;-)

    Janet--thank you and thanks for joining in! ;-)

    Duo--thanks! It is exactly how I like it--a low effort but delicious recipe. Hope you enjoy it. ;-)

    Rebecca--thank you! ;-)

  12. Lovely round up of soups to try..... Onion soup is my favourite and I might first start with it :)

  13. I had never heard of German onion soup before but from your description of it, it sounds delicious. Thanks for introducing me to something new. By the way, I'm holding a CSN giveaway on my blog, so be sure to come by for a chance to enter.

  14. Whoa Deb what a crazy round-up! Mega congrats on all the love.

    I could definitely use a lighter version of German Onion Soup right now as I try to get back into running shape. This sounds delightful. Thanks so much for sending it to RR! I am definitely going to do the round-up. Last month just got crazy and so I'm going to do a double round-up, probably tonight!

  15. Fabulousy long and varied round up! Love it!

  16. Three times fast? I can't even pronounce it once!

    I made Debbie's Souper Soup yesterday for lunch today. Can't wait to try it. Have also had that stuffed up, sore throat crud for a few days too.

  17. Wow Deb! That is one huge roundup of delicious soup. What a fantastic turnout for SS.
    Sounds like you will have your choice of soups to choose from in your freezer :) I actually like the idea of the German Onion Soup using chicken stock as a base. I think I like the idea of a blonde onion soup better than the original too.

  18. I love your version of German soup. It looks much better than the one I've had before. Nice round up.. everything looks great

  19. Oh man, your soup looks srumptious! Even though I can never hope to pronounce the German name . . . =)

  20. I love French Onion Soup, so I have to give this a try!

  21. I am loving the sound of all your soups! And especially this version of onion soup! Adding this to my list too. What a great round-up - it's obvious soup season is in full swing!

  22. Great to learn about German onion soup - sounds like a terrific recipe! we need to try it especially since my daughter is exploring everything about Germany right now!

  23. So many tempting and comforting submissions this week.

    Your onion soup looks and sounds great. Gruyere and gouda are my favourite cheeses, so I look for any excuse to use them!

  24. Megha--thanks! I hope you like it. ;-)

    Lisa--thanks! I'll come by and check it out. ;-)

    Joanne--thanks and mahalo for hosting such a fun event! ;-)

    Donna--thanks and thanks for joining in this week! ;-)

    MM--I hope Debbie's Souper Soup cures you! ;-) It looked delicious.

    Kim--thanks! I think it really does make it lighter and to me even better. ;-)


    Jenna--thank you! I can't pronounce it either! ;-)

    Pam--hope you like it! Thanks for joining in too! ;-)

    Reeni--Yes, it definitely is the season for soup! ;-)

    Natasha--You'll have to make it for her then. ;-) It would be a great starter for a German-themed dinner.

    Zibi--And this is a good excuse for sure! ;-)

  25. Well, you can definitely tell the weather is getting cooler...more and more soups!! So many sound delicious...and are in fun fishy bowls...but I'm thinking I love the sound of your German Onion Soup! I love FO, also...but I do like the lighter version. I mean, anything with cheese and bread floating in the midst of it is a-okay in my book, anyhoo... wonderful roundup, Deb ;)

  26. girlichef--thanks! I think if you like FO--you will like this one too. I agree you can't go wrong with cheesy bread on top. ;-)

    Andreas--thank you!


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