entertainingfoodFood & Drinkin the kitchen withkristina gill

In the Kitchen With: Mandy Kellogg Rye’s Smoked French Onion Soup

by Kristina Gill


We’ve been hankering for a nice warm soup for these cool autumn temperatures and style blogger, Mandy Kellogg Rye, from Waiting On Martha, has come to the rescue. Mandy is sharing her recipe for Smoked French Onion Soup with a southern touch this week. Though Mandy swears by her smoker, you do not have to use one to enjoy this recipe. Mandy advises that making sure you use smoked cheese is enough to get you in the zone, but if you want to take it to the next level, try out the recipe using smoked onions as well. If you have a special twist for your own French Onion Soup, please share it with us!  –Kristina

About MandyMandy Kellogg Rye launched Waiting On Martha, Inc. the popular lifestyle blog and gift boutique, in 2012. Her work has been featured by Lonny Magazine, House Beautiful, and Jezebel Magazine, to name a few, and she is a regular contributing editor for Style Me Pretty Living and Occasions Magazine. She also works with brands such as Kate Spade New York, The Gap, Ballard Designs, and La Crema. Most recently, Southern Living Magazine dubbed Mandy one of the top five stylish Southerners to follow. When Mandy isn’t Martha she can be found with her husband Anthony and Cavalier King Charles Addison enjoying a little southern hospitality in her home city of Atlanta.

See how simple it is to make Mandy’s French Onion Soup after the jump!

Smoked French Onion SoupServes 6-8

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4-5 large vidalia onions (if you can’t find vidalia, yellow onions will work just as well)
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 1 pound smoked Gruyere, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-6 sprigs of thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

*If you don’t have a smoker simply skip to step 4*

  1. In a large bowl add 3-4 large handfuls of mesquite or hickory wood chips, cover with water and let soak for 1 hour.
  2. While the chips are soaking, preheat smoker to 500 degrees. When ready, add chips to the smoker, bringing the temperature down to the desired heat of 150 degrees. Cut the tops and bottoms off of the onions and remove their outer layer of skin.  Place the onions directly on the grate of your smoker, on indirect heat for approximately 1 hour, no more than 2, (you want to smoke the onions, not cook them).
  3. Cut the baguette into 1″ inch thick slices and place on a cookie sheet. Toast in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown. You can also do this step the night before to save time.
  4. Once the onions are smoked, slice and set aside.
  5. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium/high heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, four sprigs of thyme, salt and pepper to taste, and cook until the onions are soft and caramelized, stirring constantly. It should take about 20-25 minutes to properly caramelize, however smoked onions will likely take less time to soften and caramelize.
  6. Add the red wine to the caramelized onion mixture and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to a steady simmer until the wine evaporates, about 5 minutes.
  7. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and on a low heat add the flour, stirring to fully coat all of the onions. Continue to cook on low for about 8-10 minutes then add the vegetable broth and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Ladle the soup into bowls and place baguette slices on top and cover with sliced Gruyere. You may need to use more than one slice of cheese depending on how big your bowls are. Place the bowls onto a cookie sheet to catch any spills as your soup will likely bubble over, and broil until the cheese is fully melted and begins to turn a golden brown.
  9. Sprinkle with additional thyme leaves, and enjoy.


Styling by Mandy Kellogg Rye, Photography by Kathryn McCrary Photography

Why Mandy Loves this Recipe One of the first purchases we made when moving to the South was the cult-esqe Southern staple, Big Green Egg Smoker. And while I’ll admit to being a tad skeptical at first, now I can’t imagine cooking without it.  Everything just seems to be better with a little bit of smoke behind it: pizza, vegetables, fruits, Thanksgiving turkey, and today’s recipe, Smoked French Onion Soup. French Onion Soup has always been one of my absolute favorite cold weather treats and I’ve been perfecting my recipe, incorporating bits and pieces from many different recipes, for years now.  I love how Tyler Florence chooses red wine over white and Martha Stewart calls for Gruyere rather than a combination of Swiss and Parmesan. For my recipe I’ve subbed the beef stock for vegetable, making the dish completely vegetarian. I’ve also chosen Southern, sweet Vidalia onions instead of yellow onions and smoked them to elevate and really bring the flavors to a whole other level of comfort.  


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