For the Casually Inclined

Weeknight Meals: Soup + Salad


I've really begun to love cooking, sometimes it's the last thing I want to do but that's usually just because I'm short on time. When I'm not rushing through I enjoy the experience of it, I love food and so does my husband so it's fun to create new dishes for the nightly routine. The soup and salad option is different and can help break up the monotony of the week and although not super healthy, still a lighter choice. We're big fans of the combinations of taste in the wedge, I purposely used bigger slices of bacon and bought the mini romaine so we could each have our own personal salads to dress according to preference. I used a little less cheese than normal in the french onion and it still came out great and was more than enough, about 2 and a half slices of Swiss with a sprinkling of shaved parm on each. I hope you enjoy!

French Onion Soup Gratinee

Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 60 minutes Ready: 75 minutes Serves: 4


  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 can (48 fluid ounce) chicken broth
  • 1 can (14 ounce) beef broth
  • 1⁄2 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 sprig fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf 1 tbsp
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • 4 thick slices French or Italian bread
  • 8 slice gruyere cheese, or Swiss cheese, at room temperature
  • 1⁄2 cup asiago cheese, or mozzarella cheese, shredded, at room temperature
  • pinch paprika


  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in salt, red onions, and sweet onions. Cook 35 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized and almost syrupy.
  2. Mix chicken broth, beef broth, red wine, and Worcestershire sauce into pot. Bundle the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf with twine and place in pot. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard the herbs. Reduce the heat to low, mix in vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep over low heat to stay hot while you prepare the bread.
  3. Preheat oven broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet and broil 3 minutes, turning once, until well toasted on both sides. Remove from heat; do not turn off broiler.
  4. Arrange 4 large oven safe bowls or crocks on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill each bowl 2/3 full with hot soup. Top each bowl with 1 slice toasted bread, 2 slice Gruyere cheese and 1/4 of the Asiago or mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle a little bit of paprika over the top of each one.
  5. Broil 5 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. As it softens, the cheese will cascade over the sides of the crock and form a beautifully melted crusty seal. 

Wedge Salad

Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 10 minutes Ready: 20 minutes Serves: 4


  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 6 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (about1 1/2 cup)
  • 2 heads of iceberg lettuce (I used mini iceberg lettuce, 4 total)
  • 10 slices of bacon, cooked and cut
  • 1/2 package of cherry tomatoes
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. While the oven is heating place foil on a cookie sheet and lay out the 10 slices of bacon. Cook for 20 minutes.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine lemon juice, mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, garlic powder, and onion powder. Whisk the mixture together until smooth. Add the blue cheese and mix until blended. Chill in airtight container in the refrigerator at least two hours before serving.
  3. Core and quarter each head of lettuce. Serve a generous dollop of dressing on each wedge and top with bacon and tomatoes. Serve with freshly ground pepper.