French Mermaid Onion Soup. Onion Soup with Seafood!

Your typical French Onion Soup with a twist, added shrimp and scallops and made in an IPA beer broth. Fantastic!

Comfort food, yummy, succulent, cheesy, flavorful, and perfect for a cold day! When one mentions French Onion Soup, stomachs rumble and mouths salivate. Very few people not like French Onion Soup. But French Onion soup is originally made with beef or chicken stock. You could also make it with vegetable stock, but Kenny came up with an even richer way to make it, with seafood and beer! Gobstoppers! Talk about being at the sea! Although I suspect a French Onion Soup would be a stretch to cook back on the days of the pirates, these days, anything is possible and Capt’n Kenny’s French Mermaid Onion Soup is the perfect example of the sea marrying comfort food. It was no easy feat, though. Modifying such a famous recipe could be very challenging.

Our first challenge was to figure out if the seafood was going to be overcooked by the time the soup was ready. There is nothing worse than a rubbery shrimp or scallop! But also, you want to make sure you don’t eat it raw. So Ken tested it pre-cooking the seafood only 80%. This guarantees it will be completely cooked but not overcooked. In fact, we were very pleased when we tried it, as the shrimp and scallops were very tender and excitingly filled with flavor. They were easy to taste and the beer worked as a flavor enhancer.

Adding beer though was a bit scary. The beer we used, Dirty Ol’ Town from Garrison Brewing is a delicious artisan beer made in Halifax by the same company that makes the beer for our batter. This particular beer is a black IPA beer with a hoppy taste and remembrances of chocolate malt. It was a risky move, as the beer gets very bitter when cooked and then this beer was naturally bitter, so Capt’n Kenny balanced all that bitterness with a touch of lemon and brown sugar resulting in a seducing aroma and taste that makes this soup unique.

The resulting French Mermaid soup was very rich and enough for a meal to be devoured a spoon at a time in order to slowly savor all the flavor notes of this enhanced traditional dish.

Batten Down the Hatches and get to the Galley! Start Cookin’!

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Here’s the Easy-to-print recipe:

5 from 2 votes
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French Mermaid Onion Soup

Your typical French Onion Soup with a twist, added shrimp and scallops and made in an IPA beer broth.

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Fish and Seafood, French
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 8 Tbsp butter plus some for spreading on toast
  • 4 lbs Mix of Spanish white and red onions sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 5 shallots sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup Dry Sherry
  • 1 artisan French bread stick cut in 16 slices
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 lb of gruyere cheese grated
  • 1 lb of mozzarella cheese grated
  • Freshly minced chives for garnish
  • 1 lb 21/25 raw shrimp
  • 1 lb 20/40 raw scallops

Broth

  • 4 IPA Black beers
  • 1 cup seafood broth
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 sprigs of Fresh Thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

Cook the onions

  1. - In a large stainless sauté pan melt butter over med-high heat, add shallots and onions and cook for about 20 minutes.
  2. - Keep cooking and deglaze with dry sherry until onions are golden brown for about 1 ½ hours in total. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Make the broth

  1. - While the onions are cooking, in a separate pot, add the beer and seafood broth, thyme and bay leaf and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. - Add the sugar and the lemon juice and rectify bitterness. If the broth still too bitter, add more lemon and sugar but not too much as the onions are sweet too.
  3. - When the onions are ready, discard the thyme stems, the bay leaf and add to the broth, mix and set aside.
  4. - Pre-cook the scallop and shrimp in a skillet with butter and olive oil only until pink on the outside but not completely cooked. Approximately 80% cooked. Set aside.
  5. - Toast the artisan bread slices
  6. - Lightly add butter
  7. - Rub the toast with the garlic clove

Assemble

  1. - Pre-heat the oven on broil in High and place the oven rack at the top position
  2. - Assemble the soup by ladling a small amount of broth to cover the bottom of the dish, place two toasts, place four shrimp and four scallops, cover them with broth and then the cheese mixture. Add two more toasts, cover with broth and top with cheese.
  3. - Place the bowls in cooking sheet. Broil until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Garnish with chives and serve.

9 thoughts on “French Mermaid Onion Soup. Onion Soup with Seafood!”

  1. 5 stars
    I made the French Metmaid Onion Soup with only scallops, not a fan of shrimp. Reduced cooking time of scallops, as they weren’t very big. This was delicious. My buddies who shared this with me said ‘dynamite’. Thanks Kenny

    1. Brenda, just a heartfelt note of thanks for your kind comments regarding the French Mermaid Onion Soup. I am really happy you enjoyed it and get ready for next week. I’ve got a few new dishes for you to try! Cheers, Kenny

  2. Thanks Captain!

    You seen to think not too different from me.
    I was contemplating on modifying the typical French Onion Soup into a SeaFood Onion Soup.
    Or more like doing a seafood soup based on the basic concept of FOS.

    So I searched to see if someone had already done this, and voilå there you were with your FRENCH MERMAID ONION SOUP.

    Your FMOS looks delicious. I have a few questions though, for your input and feedback Captain. Here goes:
    1) What if I replace beer with wine? And what are your suggestions here?
    2) What would adding ginger do to the overall flavor?
    3) Can I get away with adding an egg and finish off the soup?
    4) What other options do I have, other than Shrimps and Scallops.
    – could I use pieces of deboned fish? Any in particular?

    Would love to hear from you with your detaied feedback – more detailed the better.

    Keep up the great cooking Captain
    Look forward to hear back from you soon.

    Thanks Capt. Kenny.
    Have a great day..

    ~ Joe.

  3. Thanks Captain!

    You seem to think not too different from me.
    I was contemplating on modifying the typical French Onion Soup into a SeaFood Onion Soup.
    Or more like doing a seafood soup based on the basic concept of FOS.

    So I searched to see if someone had already done this, and voilå there you were with your FRENCH MERMAID ONION SOUP.

    Your FMOS looks delicious. I have a few questions though, for your input and feedback Captain.

    Here goes:
    1) What if I replace beer with wine? And what are your suggestions here?
    2) What would adding ginger do to the overall flavor?
    3) Can I get away with adding an egg and finish off the soup?
    4) What other options do I have, other than Shrimps and Scallops.
    – could I use pieces of deboned fish? Any in particular?

    Would love to hear from you with your detaied feedback – more detailed the better.

    Keep up the great cooking Captain
    Look forward to hear back from you soon.

    Thanks Capt. Kenny.
    Have a great day..

    ~ Joe.

    1. Greetings Joe,

      Thanks for writing and your interest and inquiry. See below my thoughts regarding your message and questions about modifying the French Onion soup into a Seafood Onion soup:

      1) What if I replace beer with wine? And what are your suggestions here?
      This would require a full remake as white wine like red wine has many different flavour profiles and the volume ratio would need to be experimented. I don’t doubt it would work but there is a total reconstruction of the recipe required. If anything, you could also use any Lager with a lot of hops.
      2) What would adding ginger do to the overall flavor?
      Ginger is a powerful root that deserves a lot of respect. I personally would not think about adding Ginger as it would totally overpower the other layers of flavours.
      3) Can I get away with adding an egg and finish off the soup?
      You could but it would be a matter of preference. One that does not resonate with myself.
      4) What other options do I have, other than Shrimps and Scallops.
      For sure, there are loads of other options such as crab, either snow or King crab, or even Dungeness crab or lobster.
      – could I use pieces of deboned fish? Any in particular?
      Yes, you could use monkfish, which is known as poor’s man lobster. As we all know, fish does not have any connective tissue and the last thing you would want in the finished product is the fish to break up. Whole particulates would be the goal in my humble opinion. But again, everything I just said is just my opinion and is subject to my taste.

      Wishing you all the best and hoping the above helps.

      Warmest Regards, Ken

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