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French Onion Soup


Lisa1349
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Me too Anna, that soup is wonderful, I've been making that since I was still living with my parents.

I think it was one of the first things I made that did not rely on something in a can! We love summer but the thought of this onion soup makes us glad we live in a country with 4 seasons!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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Another vote for Julia, but I don't use the flour (I prefer it clear) and I use more onions. I like a LOT of onions in my soup.

IMO there are only 2 things you need to know for good onion soup:

1) Homemade beef stock

2) Cooking the onions properly to that perfect shade of brown

That's it. If you do those right, you can't go wrong.

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I, too, use Julia's recipe with some minor modifications.

I add thyme, which she doesn't use, also a bayleaf and red instead of white wine. Absolutely must have rich homemade stock.

I made it on a rainy day last week and it was excellent.

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let me know what restaurants offer a great appy re French Onion soup.

I've been in Budapest in january this year and I ate in an Irish restaurant in Buda city centre (I don't remember the name, but I don't think there are more Irish restaurants in Buda city centre :unsure: ). There - funny - I had a great French onion soup, served in a bowl-like-shape bread, from which the top and the core was removed - was fantastic!

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Samasutra, that looks wonderful. I have printed the recipe out to try. I think my daughter will like it, she LOVES red onions. This is my own version of a recipe that I found in Gourmet or Bon Appetit: Onion Garlic Soup. It's made with both roasted garlic and sauteed garlic, sweet onions, chicken and beef stock and its baked for 2 hours. Kind of different, but very, very rich and satisfying.

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I made some a few weeks back and started with some Onion Confit, got a bag on sale and was itching to use them.

Cooked the onions, 6 small ones frenched 1 cup of olive oil and 1 stick of butter on high for 4 hours then on low for 12 hours in the crockpot.

The next day i added some to some beef stock and had the most amazing onion soup.

A little cheese on top and crusty bread.

I thnk the Confit was the key.

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I, too, use Julia's recipe with some minor modifications.

I add thyme, which she doesn't use, also a bayleaf and red instead of white wine. Absolutely must have rich homemade stock.

I made it on a rainy day last week and it was excellent.

I agree, but I think she started specifying Gruyere cheese--wonderful.

Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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  • 2 years later...

Whenever I made FOS, I use croutons for ease of eating, and I stick it in the microwave to melt the cheese (my Japanese oven doesn't have a broil feature, and my bowls won't fit under the fish broiler). By the time the cheese has melted and I'm ready to eat it, the croutons have soaked up most of the soup!

On one hand, it's not such a bad thing. But on the other hand, I kind of like the idea of soup rather than soggy croutons.

How can I prevent this from happening. FWIW, my croutons are homemade--cubed stale bread tossed with olive oil, thyme, and salt, then baked till crisp. Should I be doing something different with my croutons?

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Whenever I made FOS, I use croutons for ease of eating, and I stick it in the microwave to melt the cheese (my Japanese oven doesn't have a broil feature, and my bowls won't fit under the fish broiler).  By the time the cheese has melted and I'm ready to eat it, the croutons have soaked up most of the soup!

On one hand, it's not such a bad thing.  But on the other hand, I kind of like the idea of soup rather than soggy croutons. 

How can I prevent this from happening.  FWIW, my croutons are homemade--cubed stale bread tossed with olive oil, thyme, and salt, then baked till crisp.  Should I be doing something different with my croutons?

My guess is the microwave is causing this, softening the bread, as the cheese probably takes longer to melt than under a broiler. I use homemade croutons as well, and while some of them get soggy, some of them crisp up a bit under the broiler and the bowls aren't under the broiler very long. You could use a kitchen torch to melt the cheese maybe.

Marlene

cookskorner

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 wonder the same thing. Not having been a French Onion Soup aficianado until recently, I can't say with any assurance that the croutons aren't meant to be soft, at least somewhat. My best guess is that they're meant to be somewhere halfway between crunchy and pliable enough to cut through with a spoon.

Based on my experience from last night, this seems difficult, at best. I reheated some frozen soup (made exactly a year ago today :shock: ), toasted homemade baguette slices in the oven, per the Cook's Illustrated recipe, plopped them atop two Le Creuset FOS crocks, then melted some swiss and asiago on top of that. They were in a heated oven for 6 or 7 minutes, then another 5-10 while I waited for DH to get to the table. The result was two bowls of tasty onions with soggy croutons and molten cheese, and very little actual soup. Good thing I made extra croutons, because breaking them up into my bowl as I ate was what saved this dish for me.

Is this how it's supposed to be? Or is serving this on a timely basis as critical as I suspect? :huh:

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I wonder the same thing.  Not having been a French Onion Soup aficianado until recently, I can't say with any assurance that the croutons aren't meant to be soft, at least somewhat.  My best guess is that they're meant to be somewhere halfway between crunchy and pliable enough to cut through with a spoon. 

Based on my experience from last night, this seems difficult, at best.  I reheated some frozen soup (made exactly a year ago today  :shock: ), toasted homemade baguette slices in the oven, per the Cook's Illustrated recipe, plopped them atop two Le Creuset FOS crocks, then melted some swiss and asiago on top of that.  They were in a heated oven for 6 or 7 minutes, then another 5-10 while I waited for DH to get to the table.  The result was two bowls of tasty onions with soggy croutons and molten cheese, and very little actual soup.  Good thing I made extra croutons, because breaking them up into my bowl as I ate was what saved this dish for me.

Is this how it's supposed to be?  Or is serving this on a timely basis as critical as I suspect?  :huh:

That's a fair amount of time to be in the oven, giving the bread lots of time to soak up liquid.

I make a lot of french onion soup, and mine are probably under the broiler for 3 minutes or so, then served immediately.

Marlene

cookskorner

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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That's a fair amount of time to be in the oven, giving the bread lots of time to soak up liquid. 

I make a lot of french onion soup, and mine are probably  under the broiler for 3 minutes or so, then served immediately.

Thanks. Next time, I won't add the bread and cheese until we're seated, and eschew baking for broiling. CI can't be right about everything.

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Over the years, I've found the recipe in the Brennan's cookbook to be a favorite. I'd post it, except that the book is packed away in anticipation of an impending move, and I'd link to it, except that I tried to find a link and couldn't.

But it's wonderful.

Very rich and satisfying.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Over the years, I've found the recipe in the Brennan's cookbook to be a favorite.  I'd post it, except that the book is packed away in anticipation of an impending move, and I'd link to it, except that I tried to find a link and couldn't.

But it's wonderful.

Very rich and satisfying.

Jaymes, I found this on a web search:

Brennan's Onion Soup

Does it look like the recipe you remember?

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Over the years, I've found the recipe in the Brennan's cookbook to be a favorite.  I'd post it, except that the book is packed away in anticipation of an impending move, and I'd link to it, except that I tried to find a link and couldn't.

But it's wonderful.

Very rich and satisfying.

Jaymes, I found this on a web search:

Brennan's Onion Soup

Does it look like the recipe you remember?

Yep. Thanks!

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I just looked in Peterson's soup cookbook, and his advice on onions is the exact opposite of the advice at the top of the thread: use the sweetest onions possible (bermuda, vidalia, or maui). Any further thoughts on this?

A technique he suggests that seems like a no-brainer: when the onions are browned, add a small amount of stock, reduce, and rebrown. Repeat a couple of times with the first two cups of stock. This is standard method for amping up roasted flavors in a pan sauce, and I imagine it would improve any French onion soup.

Notes from the underbelly

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I just looked in Peterson's soup cookbook, and his advice on onions is the exact opposite of the advice at the top of the thread: use the sweetest onions possible (bermuda, vidalia, or maui). Any further thoughts on this?

A technique he suggests that seems like a no-brainer: when the onions are browned, add a small amount of stock, reduce, and rebrown. Repeat a couple of times with the first two cups of stock. This is standard method for amping up roasted flavors in a pan sauce, and I imagine it would improve any French onion soup.

I imagine it would, although I use onion confit for my french onion soup which is pretty flavourful itself!

Marlene

cookskorner

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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My guess is the microwave is causing this, softening the bread, as the cheese probably takes longer to melt than under a broiler.  I use homemade croutons as well, and while some of them get soggy, some of them crisp up a bit under the broiler and the bowls aren't under the broiler very long.  You could use a kitchen torch to melt the cheese maybe.

Then I'd have to buy a kitchen torch! Not such an easy feat, although I did find one of those Iwatani adaptors for their butane cans, but it was Y4000! I might have to splurge, though. One can never have too many kitchen gadgets, after all! I'll see what I can find in Kobe today.

My oven goes up to 300C, it just doesn't have a broiler element. Do you think using a very high oven temperature would melt the cheese faster than the (very weak) microwave? I microwave for about 90 seconds (in part because I use thinly sliced rather than grated cheese, and partly because the microwave is very weak).

You can always run the cheese-topped bread under the broiler before you place it on the soup

Hmm, there's an idea! I'd have to use slices of bread and not croutons or it would get too messy (at home the mess wouldn't be a problem, but at work it would be). Still no broiler, but I do have a toaster oven which would work.

FoS on the menu for dinner tonight so I can experiment!

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I have a pretty good broiler that works fine for a few bowls of FOS.

However, I serve it a lot for bigger groups and toast the bread in the oven well ahead of time, allow it to cool and shortly before serving place the cheese on the toast.

When ready to serve, I ladle the soup into all the bowls, float the toast on top then melt the cheese with

this handy appliance.

Works great and very rapidly.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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. . . . When ready to serve, I ladle the soup into all the bowls, float the toast on top then melt the cheese with

this handy appliance.

Works great and very rapidly.

I though I was alone using a heat gun in the kitchen!

It started with a gingerbread house that needed some gentle melting. I went from the hair dryer to the butane torch to the heat gun.

I love it when wood shop tools make it to the kitchen. Except for cutting frozen fish on the 9" band saw, I won't do that again.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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