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French Onion Soup. Any good recipes?


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So, do you have some thoughts on what stock makes good onion soup?

Beef consomme.

Yes, that's the received wisdom, but Pepin showed me that chicken stock works just as well or better: I would defy anyone to tell the difference.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

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So, do you have some thoughts on what stock makes good onion soup?

Beef consomme.

Yes, that's the received wisdom, but Pepin showed me that chicken stock works just as well or better: I would defy anyone to tell the difference.

Chicken stock tastes like chicken, beef consomme doesn't taste like chicken.

EDIT: read my suggestions further upthread regarding making it at home. I've discussed French onion soup in other threads. Beef consomme makes for a more delicate finished product. Veal stock more robust.

At home chicken stock is more economical.

Edited by chefzadi (log)

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

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There's nothing wrong with using chicken stock, but it will give you a lighter flavour. I prefer a "beefier" taste to my onion soup and so beef stock it is, and always finished with a cube of concentrated beef stock too.

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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  • 1 month later...

Comfort Me,

Your recipe sounds wonderful and easy. My question is this -- is your crockpot tall and narrow, or shorter and wide? I have one of the wider ones, so the layer of onions won't be as thick and I'm concerned about burning them if I leave them in overnight. Perhaps I'm just being paranoid??

I do want to give it a try...

Thanks,

Nina

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I, too, am an afficiando of the onion confit based soup. It is easy and I am lazy so we are already in a win-win situation. I usually have the stock in the freezer and a jar of onion confit skulking around so it is a no brainer.

That being said, the "family favorite" is right out of Emeril's cookbook Louisiana Real and Rustic. We are lucky enough that it is posted here: Creole Onion Soup No, it is not traditional. But it is so delicious that I have to make a batch whenever the kids visit. A bowl of this and a salad and you have dinner.

Next, I plan to try Tony's version. The mushroom soup is so phenomenal that I can't wait to try this one. (Thanks, Tony.)

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I never use Swiss cheese.........to my palate, gruyere is much, much tastier!

Isn't Gruyere a Swiss Cheese? Or did you mean "swiss" chesse, because that stuff has very little to do with Switzerland, and you're right to avoid it.

Personally I use either an aged Tombe, or Gruyere. It really depends. The Gruyere that I normally get is a little too strongly flavoured for the soup, but milder Gruyere is usually available.

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When most people speak of Swiss cheese, they mean Emmentaler - the variety with the large holes and long aging. I've never heard of gruyere called Swiss....and to the best of my knowlege, it's on the French side of the alps - but I could be wrong. Anybody got some clarity on origin?

I prefer gruyere because it's fruitier - almost an apricot undertone - and not as bitter as Emmentaler. It also melts easily.

Edited by Susan G (log)

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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Gruyere is a type of Swiss cheese. It is a drier cheese than your typical Swiss cheese which leads to a higher melt point than the usual Jarlsberg or Baby Swiss.

"Swiss", in this regard, doesn't necessarily mean from Switzerland but pertains to the class of cheese known as Swiss.

 

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Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

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Tim Oliver

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Gruyere is a type of Swiss cheese.  It is a drier cheese than your typical Swiss cheese which leads to a higher melt point than the usual Jarlsberg or Baby Swiss.

"Swiss", in this regard, doesn't necessarily mean from Switzerland but pertains to the class of cheese known as Swiss.

I never really heard of Swiss cheese until I moved to North America from Switzerland. There cheese was always known by region, and even then the style varied between producers. The "Swiss" cheese here always seems so processed, so I've always avoided it.

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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 like using beef remoulage (second boil of the veal stock) and reducing the stock by 1/4-1/2 before using it. And instead of slicing the onions, I rough chop/dice them giving the soup more onion to see and your tongue to slip over. I flavor my soup with balsamic and tamari to enhance the color and "punch" up the flavor. The tamari I use as a great flavor profile instead of adding a lot of salt, however I love a lot of black pepper in mine. Dry or fresh thyme leaves I believe are essential and a pinch of honey if the onions didn't yield enough caramel sweetness (but not too much.) Sherry is a great addition but don't use too cheap a bottle for the soup will taste cheap. Once the soup is finished, let it cool overnight to deepen the flavor and reheat. I like to serve my onion soup with a toast instead of a heaping globe of gooey cheese. Use good Emmental or Gruyere and toast or lightly grill your bread with a bit of garlic oil, salt & pepper.

I also like David Rosengartens recipe from his old cooking show. MAN I MISS THAT SHOW!!!

Life is so brief that we should not glance either too far backwards or forwards…therefore study how to fix our happiness in our glass and in our plate.

A.L.B. Grimod de la Reyniere

'Almanach des gourmands'

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In preheated heavy stock pot, add 1 C clarified butter, and then 14 C sliced Vadalia or yellow onion. Stir continuously until well carmelized but not burnt.

Add 3 cloves chopped garlic.

Stir 2 minutes more.

Add 1 C good red wine. Stir 5-6 more minutes.

Add 2 TBSP chopped fresh Thyme, pepper to taste.

If using yellow onion, add 1/2 tsp sugar, omit for Vadalias.

Add veal/beef stock until you have fully covered the onions by about 2 inches.

Reduce over simmer for up to 2 hours to consistency you're looking for.

Just before serving whip 2-3 egg yolks in small dish, add some hot soup, return all to pot and stir while also adding 3-4 TBSP of good Cognac.

Salt to taste.

I like to forego the piece of toast, and usually the gruyere cheese too. Sometimes I add a bit of grated Parmesiagno Reggiano, sometimes not.

Can or freeze the leftovers!

doc

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I know I'm courting death here but America's Test kitchen has one that uses one can of chicken broth and one can of beef broth. Both low sodium of course. I make my own stock at home but the ATK method comes in handy in a pinch.

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  • 1 month later...

So does French Onion Soup freeze well? I made a batch on Friday that I thought we'd eat over the weekend, but we didn't. It doesn't look like we'll get to it this week either. Can I freeze it?

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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Gruyere is actually from Switzerland:

http://www.gruyere.com/

As is emmenthal, jarlsberg, ...  I guess that what they mean is the america's test kitchen recipe is that you can use any kind of "tasty" cheese, no cheese whiz or monterey jack...

Here's a blurry clarification chefzadi will correct me if I'm off the wall. Here goes first we start with Vacherin Mont D'or this was how it was known before borders moved then it got split the Swiss side pasteurised and still kept the name whilst the French side called it Mont D'or or Vacherin Haut-Doubs.

This is the cheese produced from the mountain pastures and production doesn't start until 15 Aug so now as this is a "winter" cheese where does the summer milk go well on the French side it goes to make Gruyere de Comte as for Gruyere thats Swiss so my answer is its French and Swiss all in the same breath just a ? of what cheese you got.

But for a classic French Onion Soup I'd imagine you use a Gruyere de Comte not a Gruyere though as I'm not sure of the differences beyond making and even I'm not sure what Gruyere I've tasted over the years, I cant really comment!

I also believe that Gruyere production is made in Gruyere and the other side of the mountain from Mont D'or is called Vaud so I'm not even sure that Swiss Gruyere is produced on the other side, my geography's letting me down here.

Hope this helps

Stef

Perfection cant be reached, but it can be strived for!
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