Fall Recipes: French Onion Soup

It is official: summer is over and autumn is here.  Colorful leaves decorate the streets of Dusseldorf and there is a crispness in the air.  All this signals that the time to prepare hot soups is once again upon us!  There are so many different kinds and I am always testing new recipes to warm my body and spirit.  Luckily, I work with a chef who seems to have a never ending list of recommendations.  The latest recommendation from Breidenbacher Hof’s Executive Chef Philipp?  The classic, French Onion Soup.

While I was of course familiar with the soup, I had never ventured to make it.  Fortunately, Chef Philipp’s recipe was easy to follow.  And the results?  Absolutely the perfect fall kick-off!  Why don’t  you try it for yourself?  rsz_1zwiebelsuppe_

French Onion Soup (4 servings)


  • 500 g large onion
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 100 ml Brandy
  • 100 ml Noilly Prat
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 1 l broth
  • 4 small slices of baguette
  • 100 g Gruyère (Swiss cheese)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper


Begin by peeling the onions (trust me, the tears are worth it!). The half the onion and cut it down into thin slices. Then, add the butter and onions to a pot (must be large enough for the soup as a whole) and cook over medium heat until the onions begin to caramelize.

Now, deglaze the onions with the brandy, Noilly Prat and white wine.  Follow with the broth and the bay leaf, bringing the liquid to a boil and then simmering for about 20 minutes.

Heat the oven to 200°C and toast the baguette slices. (After toasting, leave the oven on for the final step!)

Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to individual oven safe bowls.

Add cheese to each of the toasted baguette slices and place one in each bowl.  Place each bowl in the heated oven allowing the soup and toast to heat until the cheese is melted and golden.

“C’est ҫa!”  Have fun trying the recipe and enjoy this take on French Onion Soup!


Herbstrezept: Französische Zwiebelsuppe

Es ist offiziell: Der Sommer neigt sich dem Ende zu und der Herbst ist über uns gekommen. Blätter legen sich wie ein bunter Teppich auf die Straßen Düsseldorfs und der Herbst ist zu spüren. Höchste Zeit für uns, die Suppenzeit einzuläuten. Es gibt so viele verschiedene Suppen und ich versuche immer wieder ein neues Rezept auszuprobieren, um mich aufzuwärmen. Praktisch, wenn man mit einem Koch zusammen arbeitet, dem scheinbar nie die Empfehlungen ausgehen. Die neueste Empfehlung von Küchenchef Philipp Ferber im Breidenbacher Hof? Etwas Klassisches, Französische Zwiebelsuppe.

Obwohl ich die Suppe natürlich kenne, habe ich es bisher noch nie gewagt sie selbst zuzubereiten. Zum Glück ist es leicht Philipps Rezept zu folgen. Das Ergebnis? Der absolut perfekte Herbststart. Warum probiert ihr sie nicht auch?


Französische Zwiebelsuppe

(für 4 Personen)




  • 500g Gemüsezwiebeln
  • 2 Esslöffel Butter
  • 100ml Weinbrand
  • 100ml Noilly Prat
  • 100ml trockener Weißwein
  • 1Liter Fleischbrühe
  • 4 kleine Scheiben Baguette
  • 100g Greyerzer
  • 1 Lorbeerblatt
  • Salz & Pfeffer



Zunächst einmal müsst ihr Euch der unbeliebtesten Aufgabe widmen: Zwiebeln schälen (glaubt mir, die Tränen sind es wert!). Wenn dies geschehen ist, die Zwiebeln halbieren und quer in dünne Streifen schneiden. Nun in einem Topf die Butter erhitzen und die Zwiebeln darin bei mittlerer Hitze glasig dünsten.

Im nächsten Schritt die Zwiebeln mit Weinbrand, Noilly Prat und Weißwein ablöschen, die Brühe und das Lorbeerblatt hinzufügen und die Suppe bei mittlerer Hitze ca. 20 min garen lassen.

In der Zwischenzeit kann schon einmal der Backofen auf 200°C vorgeheizt und die Baguettescheiben getoastet werden. (Wenn das Baguette getoastet ist, den Ofen nicht ausschalten, wir brauchen ihn später noch!)

Nun die Suppe mit Salz und Pfeffer abschmecken und in feuerfeste Suppentassen füllen.

Auf jede Tasse wird eine Scheibe Baguette und etwas geriebener Käse gegeben und die Suppe im Ofen auf mittlerer Schiene überbacken bis der Käse goldbraun ist.


“C’est ҫa!” Viel Spaß beim Nachkochen und guten Appetit!


Oktoberfest In Dusseldorf

“O’zapft is!”  It is that time of year!

What am I talking about?  Oktoberfest!  And “O’zapft is!”  is traditional opener to the festivities.  This is from the Bavarian dialect and means that the first keg of the season has been tapped.

You have probably heard about the traditional German Oktoberfest at least once, right? Then you might know that Munich is especially famous for this celebration. While the Bavarian festivities remain the largest, other events are cropping up throughout Germany.  And as the jovial mood spreads, I think it only fitting that I share my experience from the inaugural Dusseldorf celebration held just last year.


I’ve been a huge fan of the Oktoberfest for many years and when I heard that the tradition had arrived in my beautiful hometown, I could not believe it. So what did I do? Of course I put on my best Dirndl and jumped into the festivities to see if the Rhenish people could keep up with the Bavarians. And let me tell you: It was definitely a success! I particularly liked the location that was chosen for the Oktoberfest in Dusseldorf. It takes place at the Rhine Promenade, where I also like to spend most of my spare time.

I started my day with a delicious pretzel, Bavarian veal sausage with sweet mustard and, most importantly, a freshly tapped Mass.  A Mass is a huge glass jug, which contains one liter of beer.  It is common to drink these throughout the Oktoberfest celebrations, beginning with breakfast and continuing throughout the day.  There is even a traditional song that encourages drinkers to clink their Mass with those around them.  It seems the song is played just about every five minutes, so it is important to have a Mass in hand!

Another fun aspect is seeing everyone dressed in traditional clothes.  The men wear leather trousers known as Lederhosen, a plaid shirt and sometimes also those cute hats with feathers on top. The women wear my personal favorite, the Dirndl. The Dirndl consists of a blouse, with a dress consisting of a corset top and full skirt topped with an apron. You can find it in every color and pattern. The Dirndl is a figure hugging dress that seems to make every woman look her best! The women top of the look with braids in every style.

But the Dirndl does more than set the tone of the event- it can also communicate the relationship status of the wearer.  If you wear the apron knot on the left side, it means you are single, on the right it means you are in a relationship.  Knots on the back suggest you are widowed (unless you are working as a waitress!) and in the front the knot means you are married.  Who would have guessed an apron could say so much?!

You are now perfectly prepped for a visit to Dusseldorf’s Oktoberfest.  This year celebrations started on September 19th and goes for about two weeks. So be sure to make your plans today!  Your Breidenbacher Hof Personal Assistant will help you make it the perfect vacation.


Get Fit For Summer At Breidenbacher Hof

Summer is always a great time to focus on creating a fitness routine.  After all, instead of sitting bundled up in our homes, everyone is outside enjoying the sun!  If you haven’t found a program yet, don’t worry, there is still time.  Here at Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel, we have established a relationship with Daniel Philipp-Personal Training company that provides personal training services to guests looking to stay fit while on the road.

I have had the pleasure of working out with trainer, Alexander Rauhof, who has definitely helped me keep my summer fitness goals on track.  And today you are in luck!  Alexander has agreed to share some fitness secrets with you.  These will help you address your full-body with specific attention to the core, upper body and lower body.  Let’s do this! Time to get fit for summer!


rsz_dsc_0270_bearbeitet #Lunge
Lunge forward with your right leg.  Land on your heel, then your forefoot.  Lower your body by flexing your knee and hip on your front leg until the knee of your rear leg is almost in contact with the floor. Then return to the original standing position.  Repeat this exercise with your left leg afterwards.  Do 10 repetitions on each side to reach best training results.


rsz_dsc_0283_bearbeitet#Shoulder bridge
Lie on your back in neutral spine, with you knees bent and feet on the floor.  Your legs should be hip distance apart and your arms extended along your sides.  Press your arms and feet down on the mat to lengthen your spine, then push your hips up.  You have reached the perfect bridge position when your weight lies on shoulders with your knees, hips and shoulders in line.  Your abs and hamstrings should be engaged.  You are perfectly executing this exercise the moment you feel the tension within your entire body.
Pause at the top of the bridge to challenge yourself.  It gets even more intense lifting one leg off the mat.  Try the same for the other leg and repeat the whole process 10 times on each side.

Make sure your hands are directly beneath your shoulders with the rest of your body extended out in a line.  The tops of your feet can either be flat on the floor or you can curl your toes if you prefer.  Your shoulders should be located directly above your hands,  your heels pushing back in plank pose resembling a high push up position.  Hold that position for 50 seconds.

Alexander recommends that you repeat every exercise 10 times a day.  You can expect to start seeing results in just a few weeks.  Remember, the next time you are at the Breidenbacher Hof, our Personal Assistants would love to book you a professional fitness lesson, so you can take your fitness level one step further.

Fit In Den Sommer Im Breidenbacher Hof

Der Sommer bietet den perfekten Ansporn um wieder fit zu werden.  Anstatt zu Hause die Zeit ab zu sitzen, sind alle draußen und genießen die Sonne!  Falls Ihr noch nicht die richtige Routine gefunden habt, keine Sorge.  Der Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel kooperiert mit Daniel Philipp-Personal Training.  Sein Team ist spezialisiert auf Personal Trainings für die Gäste im Haus die auf ihren Reisen gerne fit bleiben.
Ich hatte das große Vergnügen mit dem Trainer Alexander Rauhof regelmäßig trainieren zu dürfen, dadurch hat er mir zu meinem Sommerkörper verholfen. Heute habt Ihr das Glück!  Alexander wird sein Fitnessgeheimniss mit Euch teilen.  Die Übungen werden Euch dabei helfen, Euren ganzen Körper mit dem Schwerpunkt auf die Körpermitte, Oberkörper und Unterkörper zu trainieren.  Auf geht es!


Macht einen großen Schritt nach vorne, senkt nun Eure Hüfte gerade ab.  Dann verlagert Euer Gewicht nach vorne und drückt Euch nach vorne ab.  Zieht dabei Euer hinteres Bein nach vorne und geht Sie wieder in einen großen Ausfallschritt.  Wiederholt diese Übung 10 Mal pro Seite.


Ihr liegt auf dem Rücken, Eure Füße sind aufgesetzt, die Arme liegen am Körper und die Händflächen zeigen nach oben.  Hebt nun Eure Hüfte an, sodass die Beine bis zu den Knien eine gerade Verlängerung Eures Körpers ergeben.  Haltet diese Stellung für einige Sekunden.  Um den Schwierigkeitsgrad zu steigern, könnt Ihr immer abwechselnd ein Bein anheben und gerade ausstrecken.  Wiederholt diese Übung 10 Mal pro Seite.

Achtet darauf, dass Eure Hände unter den Schultern liegen und der restliche Körper eine gerade Linie ergibt.  Eure Füße berühren den Boden nur mit den Zehen. Aus dieser Position versetzt Ihr Euren Körper in Spannung und bringt den durchhängenden Hüftbereich in eine Linie.  Stützt Euch jetzt ab und haltet diese Position für 50 Sekunden.
Alexander empfielht 10 Wiederholung der Übungen pro Tag.  Bereits nach wenigen Wochen, werdet Ihr den ersten Erfolg verzeichnen können.
Bei Eurem nächsten Besuch im Breidenbacher Hof, buchen unsere Persönlichen Assistenten gerne für Euch eine professionelle Fitnessstunde, damit Ihr weiter angespornt werdet.

Top 5 Things To Eat At Rheinkirmes

Dusseldorf’s biggest summer event is without question the Rheinkirmes. For the 115th time, the Rhine meadows will be transformed into an unique amusement park. A huge summer festival completed with traditional beer tents, spectacular modern rides, live bands, rustic food, candy stands and about four million visitors of all ages enjoying it. It is amazing!
The 9-day fair ties together traditions, culinary experiences and modern entertainment.  There is so much to do and see, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.  One of my favorite parts is the food!  So I thought it would be fun to share my top 5 things to eat at Rheinkirmes with you.

Tradition / Brauchtum - Kirmes Skyline

Tradition / Brauchtum – Kirmes Skyline

#1 Battered Fried Fish
If you like fried fish you will love the German Backfisch. You have the option between the fish on a roll or with fries as a side dish. Don’t forget the remoulade – it pairs perfectly.  This is a must eat at the fair!

#2 German Sausage
No trip to the Rheinkirmes is complete without some sausage.  Bratwurst is served on a roll along with a traditional side of sauerkraut.  Of course you can’t forget the mustard!  It is available in a wide range from spicy and coarse to sweet or hot, and everything in between.

#3 German Potato Pancakes
There is nothing like eating a freshly made Kartoffelpuffer (aka German potato pancake) with apple sauce.  It’s the perfect mix between sweet and hearty.  Don’t forget to order #4 along with it!

#4 Alt beer
Dusseldorf is the center of one of the most interesting beer regions of Germany. So, you don’t want to miss the Alt beer of Düsseldorf. We have three tradional breweres at the fun fair Füchschen, Uerige and Schuhmacher.  Every local has a favorite, so be sure to try them all and choose your own allegiance!

#5 Roasted almonds
You better buy two, because they just taste that delicious. The perfect mix between crunchy and sweet and you can just snack them while strolling through the attractions.


I Look forward to hearing your feedback about my top 5. By the way, food isn’t the only treat to discover!  A Rhine river cruise during the fireworks is my absolute favorite and a definite must-see. Next time you are staying at the Breidenbacher Hof, just ask your Personal Assistants and they will take care of all arrangements.