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French Onion Soup


Marlene
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Re: can it be made with veg stock?

Yes, it can, and I made it that way for many years. However it is not nearly as satisfying as it is with a rich animal-based stock.

It is if you're a vegetarian!

Re: leftovers.

I strain my leftovers (save the onions) and reduce the soup until it's saucy. Or I use it like stock when I'm making a stew or something. Voila -- instant sauce/stock.

(edited for leftovers)

Edited by Mudpuppie (log)

amanda

Googlista

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A french friend of mine told me that there's a tradition over there of serving "French" onion soup at that end of the night on New Years Eve. (They probably don't call it "French" onion soup.)

They probably just called it a "gratinee," which in my experience is the generic French term for it. I guess the soup is so good that all other gratinees have to have a modifier attached "pmmes gratinee" or whatever.

I'd like to wigh in belatedly with the chicken stockers. I think a good chicken broth is a little lighter than the beef and contrasts nicely with the rich, slow-cooked onions. Not that it's excatly "lite" but it does provide a variation to the relentless bass notes of a beef stock soup.

My first job ever was as a dishwasher for a restaurant in Columbia, Maryland, called Per Bacco! As dishwasher, I was also in charge of assembling the onion soup, as well as the occasional shrimp peel-a-thon, and breaking eggs for batter. The smell of the onion soup under the broiler was entrancing -- it became my first food obsession. Sadly, onion soup was not on the staff meal list and the restaurant closed after I'd been working there only six weeks. I never actually tasted it.

Later that year, I learned that onion soup, especially for a novice, is not a first date kind of dish. I forget the girl, but onion soup remains....

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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  • 1 year later...

I've only prepared the French Onion soup version from Bouchon by Thomas Keller, which is to die for by the way, but it takes about 5-6 hours just to make it. I'm not looking for the quickest recipe, but one that can be prepared within 3-1/2 hours. Anyone care to share?

By the way, for those who have made the Keller version, do you taste much difference when you age the soup for a day in contrast to serving it immediately?

Thanks.

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For restaurant applications I prefer to make mine with a beef consomme base. But this might be too expensive for home.

Make a good chicken stock and cook down the onions for a long time.

It's pretty straightforward. I don't know the recipe you are referring to so I can't help shorten that one.

Maybe Michael Ruhlman will post an answer.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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French Onion Soup

This is the recipe I use all the time. Admittedly, I now make it using Onion Confit as the base, but you don't have to. This can be made within two or three hours, but really, the longer you let it simmer, it's always going to better.

If you do decide to make confit, you can omit the cooking of butter, onions and sugar.

Marlene

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I agree with monavano, the Bourdain recipe is pretty quick and easy yet totally delicious. The Bouchon recipe is better, but as you say it takes a long time. With AB the onions brown for 30-40 minutes rather then the 5 hours TK asks for. I would stick with the bouchon method for topping the bowls with slices and shredded cheese though.

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French Onion Soup

This is the recipe I use all the time.  Admittedly, I now make it using Onion Confit as the base, but you don't have to.  This can be made within two or three hours, but really, the longer you let it simmer, it's always going to better.

If you do decide to make confit, you can omit the cooking of butter, onions and sugar.

Thanks for the recipe. But don't you get worried that you are going to burn down the house with the onion confit, if you have to leave it on the stove overnight while sleeping? :unsure:

Edited by savvysearch (log)
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You may also want to check the Good Eats website for Alton Brown's recipe. I've used that with pretty good success.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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French Onion Soup

This is the recipe I use all the time.  Admittedly, I now make it using Onion Confit as the base, but you don't have to.  This can be made within two or three hours, but really, the longer you let it simmer, it's always going to better.

If you do decide to make confit, you can omit the cooking of butter, onions and sugar.

Thanks for the recipe. But don't you get worried that you are going to burn down the house with the onion confit, if you have to leave it on the stove overnight while sleeping? :unsure:

I make onion confit in a crockpot so no worries!

Marlene

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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French Onion Soup

This is the recipe I use all the time.  Admittedly, I now make it using Onion Confit as the base, but you don't have to.  This can be made within two or three hours, but really, the longer you let it simmer, it's always going to better.

If you do decide to make confit, you can omit the cooking of butter, onions and sugar.

Thanks for the recipe. But don't you get worried that you are going to burn down the house with the onion confit, if you have to leave it on the stove overnight while sleeping? :unsure:

I make onion confit in a crockpot so no worries!

The crockpot makes doing the onions a breeze, I love it. I make onion soup a whole lot more often because of it.

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I agree with others here that the one in the Les Halles Cookbook is excellent. If Tony is nice, maybe we can get him to post it here. :biggrin:

Marlene has also posted a very good one in RecipeGullet:

http://recipes.egullet.org/recipes/r190.html

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I'm curious to know in which region of France Bistro Onion soup is based on Chicken Stock with bacon and balsamic vinegar added.

I'm not a stickler for authenticity. Just wondering.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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ok here is my

secret

private

eyes only

onion soup recipe

for which a lot of people would kill for.. ;-)

first getyourself some really nice onions, they dont have to be special just the normal ones do fine. peelem cut in half and make 5-7 mm slides. next thing is to twizzle the onions with ya fingers to make sure all the rings are seperated. get a huge pan, in goes a big slug of evo. when the evo reaches smoke point throw in the onions, they have to fry, not cook! a minute after that, throw in 3-4 anchovis. when the onions have anice golden color deglace the pan with a nice dry whitewine. simmer down! now its time for our soupstock to go in, you can either make fresh vegetable stock or use a good quality concentrate ( i use to tune my veggiestock with some homemade dehydrated and pulverized soup veggies) in goes the stock. now the whole thing should cook down a little before you add a nice glass of sherry and season to taste with salt sugar and pepper, put aside. now you got to make yourself some nice large croutons. get a few slices of whitebread cut off crust. into a beaker throw couple of tablespoons evo, salt, minced garlic, parmesan cheese, now mix and smear the stuff on both sides of the bread. fry without additional oil in a nonstick pan at MEDIUM heat (we dont want to burn da garlic :-) until golden brown. now get the bowls fill in the soup, put croutons on top, and top the whole thing with some grated swiss AGED mountain cheese and a little parmesan. put under the grill for a few minutes until cheese surface is nicely caramelised and brown. the whole thing should only take you 1h or so :)

voila

t.

toertchen toertchen

patissier chocolatier cafe

cologne, germany

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Warning: I am not Thomas Keller. (I almost hate to post this, as I've received e-mail in the past telling me my food was pedestrian and not up to the eG standard, but I figure they can just naff off if they don't like it.)

I use the crock pot for onion soup all the time. My basic recipe -- change it as you see fit, use what stock or flavoring you like, I'm not territorial:

Slice a LOT of onions -- enough to completely fill your crock pot, really packing them in. Add one stick of butter or parve margerine, a good amount of salt and pepper, two large whole cloves of garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. Turn the crock pot on low and walk away for 18 hours. The onions will be mahogany colored and your house will smell divine.

Add stock. Whatever you like. I have used chicken, beef, veal, a combination of the above, and good quality vegetable. All have their good points. When I can, I use half chicken and half beef. I like the lighter flavor. You'll know how much stock you'll need. I won't. Also add a few springs of thyme and 1/2 cup or so of a decent wine -- red or white, doesn't matter. I've used both and they both work. Just make sure it's drinkable. Leave it for another hour or two on low. Taste for seasoning. You may need to add a little water. Do whatever you have to do. Then proceed with the croute, etc.

Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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I add a little balsamic just before ladling into the bowls. It really punches up the flavor. I also spread butter and herbs on the bread before toasting it. If I'm feeling really cheesy, I put a slice of cheese at the bottom of the bowl as well as a couple on top of the toasts. A little melted butter over everything is really good too.

Comfort Me: I can't believe an e-gulleter would tell you your food isn't up to standard. There's a whole thread on Tater Tots on here, and I'm damn glad there is.

So there. :angry:

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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Comfort Me: I can't believe an e-gulleter would tell you your food isn't up to standard. There's a whole thread on Tater Tots on here, and I'm damn glad there is.

So there. :angry:

Thanks for the affirmatation.

I just had an idea. Tater tots in onion soup. Why didn't I think of it earlier? They are crispy, crunchy, potatoe-y... I think I've stumbles onto something!

Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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Gordon Ramsay's (UK michelin 3 star chef) recipe is pretty damn good from "Kitchen Heaven" - made with fresh brown chicken stock and a swirl of mustard just before serving. Highly recommended by me and the missus

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Thanks for the recipes. Maybe I should run out tommorrow and get a crock pot.

I developed my recipe after reading a recipe for brie with carmelized onions baked in brioche. The whole onions were cooked in the crock pot until mahogany colored, then cooled and set atop a wheel of brie, then wrapped in brioche dough. The crockpot was an epiphany for me, since I always seemed to scorch my onions before. Now the onions have this really robust, deep flavor. Most yummy.

Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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  • 3 weeks later...
Warning:  I am not Thomas Keller.  (I almost hate to post this, as I've received e-mail in the past telling me my food was pedestrian and not up to the eG standard, but I figure they can just naff off if they don't like it.)

I use the crock pot for onion soup all the time.  My basic recipe -- change it as you see fit, use what stock or flavoring you like, I'm not territorial:

Slice a LOT of onions -- enough to completely fill your crock pot, really packing them in.  Add one stick of butter or parve margerine, a good amount of salt and pepper, two large whole cloves of garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.  Turn the crock pot on low and walk away for 18 hours.  The onions will be mahogany colored and your house will smell divine.

Add stock.  Whatever you like.  I have used chicken, beef, veal, a combination of the above, and good quality vegetable.  All have their good points.  When I can, I use half chicken and half beef.  I like the lighter flavor.  You'll know how much stock you'll need.  I won't.  Also add a few springs of thyme and 1/2 cup or so of a decent wine -- red or white, doesn't matter.  I've used both and they both work.  Just make sure it's drinkable.  Leave it for another hour or two on low.  Taste for seasoning.  You may need to add a little water.  Do whatever you have to do.  Then proceed with the croute, etc.

I like the crock pot method as well. Instead of cutting up the onion, I've actually just peeled them and left them whole. I haven't tried it with the seasonings in the pot, just onion and butter, and then season later. When the onions are nice and carmelized, I transfer them and the juices to a pot and add stock, seasoning, and sometimes wine. It's divine!

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