Wine & Food of the Rhone Valley in France: Class 1, Part 1

Our first dish, Roasted Onion Trilogy Soup Lyonnaise, was a twist on the classic French Onion soup. The ingredients consisted of three different types of onion (red, white, brown) plus leeks and garlic and, of course, a large portion of red wine. The soup is rumoured to be a hangover cure for the denizens of Lyon.

ingredients for this Trilogy of Onions Soup

onions, leeks, garlic, thyme and red wine, the primary ingredients for the ‘Roasted Onion Trilogy Soup Lyonnaise’

  • sliced onions, leeks and garlic were roasted in a roasting pan along with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper
  • once the onions were soft, a cup or two of red wine was added, and then it was all roasted some more
  • everything was transferred to a large pot, and beef broth and water added.
  • the soup was simmered for awhile and the seasoning adjusted
  • once it was ready, the soup was poured into oven-proof soup bowls, two slices of French baguette were placed on top, and then covered with grated Gruyere cheese.
French Onion Soup

two slices of baguette are placed in the soup and covered with grated Gruyere cheese

  • the bowls were then placed under a broiler until the cheese melted, and served with a sprinkling of parsley on top.


  • the sweetness of the roasted onion soup, combined with tartness of the red wine that Chef Eric had paired with it were fabulous. So fabulous that I ended up knocking back all my wine and didn’t have any leftover for the second dish, also paired with this remarkable wine: 2011 Cotes du Rhone Heritages Ogier.



this wine won the Médaille D'Or in 2012

this wine won the Médaille D’Or for the best red wine in France in 2012

  • This wine won the Médaille D’Or (Gold Medal) in 2012. As they only give out one Médaille D’Or for a Red, one for a White and one for a Rosé, this wine was given an extraordinary honour. And for only $18 it is a real steal. At this point it is a bit young, but give it a few more years in the cellar and serve it with French Onion Soup and you’re in for a treat. I ran out and bought two bottles; now the challenge will be keeping them for two or three years!

Chef Eric has a recipe for a different, although I am sure equally delicious, French Onion Soup at:

Now we go on to the 2nd course in our menu of the Rhone Valley, which could have been an entire meal all on it’s own: French Potato Salad, Saucisson Chaud Lyonnaise (Sausage in Pastry) and Cranberry Spinach Salad

  • The potatoes, onion, sausage, bouquet garni (in the silver container), white wine, salt and peppercorns were simmered for 30 minutes.


  • The potatoes were drained, peeled and sliced. A tarragon & shallot vinagrette was prepared as a dressing, and drizzled on the potatoes.


  • Once the sausage had cooled, it was rolled in puff pastry and baked. An English member of the class called them ‘piggies in a blanket’. These are the French version of sausage rolls and oh, so tasty!


  • All the ingredients for the spinach and cranberry salad were set up ‘mise en place‘.


  • The salad was tossed at the last minute.


  • French Potato Salad, Saucisson Chaud Lyonnaise (Sausage in Pastry) and Cranberry Spinach Salad.
Rhone 2nd course: Potato, Sausage in Pastry and Salad

Rhone 2nd course: Potato, Sausage in Pastry and Salad

I would definitely have both these dishes again – each one as a full meal! But in this class they were both just the preamble for the main course…

Wine & Food of the Rhone Valley in France: Class 1, Part 2

Chef Eric posts many of his recipes on his website:

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