Naturally sweet caramelized onions, rich stock, a toasted baguette and gooey cheese makes up this classic, full-flavored s...
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Nothing compares to a good homemade stock. The bottom line is that you can use whatever you like, but it is important to understand that the results will be very different.
We are strong supporters of homemade stock, as it is extremely easy and inexpensive to make. The body and flavor of homemade stock is far superior to store brands and also contains very low amounts (if any) of sodium.
Trust us, if you want to take your cooking to a whole new level, stock is the first step. It is what makes so many dishes taste that much better. If you haven't seen them already, there are fantastic lessons on how to make stock in the cooking school. We can't stress enough the importance of having a supply of good stock in the kitchen. Homemade stock is used in so many places: for delicious soups, stews, braised dishes, rice, and sauce...the list goes on. We guarantee you will be more than happy with the results. Happy Cooking!
Just reading the stock comments and was thinking why not take store bought low sodium stock and fortify it with good mirepoix and bouquet garni and reduce it down to something better than the original? I realize making your own is best but this has to be better than using store bought stock as is and faster than making your own with bones from scratch, right?
You can, just be mindful of the salt (even if it says low sodium) as reducing will make it saltier.
We do say this in the lesson on Short Stock; however, we often use bones as well to give it more chicken flavor. Vegetables will obviously provide more vegetable flavor, so you'll be diluting the flavor of chicken in the stock by only using mirepoix and bouquet garni. Also, the stock in the end will be thinner and won't have as much body from the lack of gelatin.
I lived in France, for two years and believe me,
Guyere was available everywhere, and used in everything! It's what we used on our Macaroni and Cheese.
It may be Swiss, but don't tell the French they would roll over in their graves if you ever told them that Guyere was not a French cheese! shhh!
Made my first onion soup with home made stock. Unbelievable! That's why mine never tasted as good as the gourmet rooms at The Mirage! The second soup I used dry vermouth, double wow!! A nice Polish vodka martini made the perfect lead up! Thanks for making my new life devoid of any great restuarants a daily pleasure!!
Just read “War of the Cheeses,” 1995, article originally appeared in American Way Magazine and was nominated for the 1996 James Beard Journalism Award for Magazine Feature Writing without Recipes.
One thing for sure, my preference is always Swiss Gruyère for French Onion Soup. It's all about taste :-)
I have volunteered my wife Jill to prepare a soup and salad for a progressive dinner with various neighbours in about a week's time. We are English people here on holiday in our ski chalet. English salads are typically, rather droopy and dull, whereas we find Canadian salads to be very crisp and with interesting dressings. Also any ideas as to soup choice. It doesn't want to be anything too heavy, because this is going to be a seven course marathon.
Great site by the way. Jill was already a good cook ( bit of careful diplomacy here) but has improved immeasurably.
It all depends on the flavor direction you are planning to go and how heavy you want the soup. We have delicious soups on Rouxbe (just type in "soup" in the search bar at the top right of any page). A broth soup is lovely and you can add just a few ingredients to it (or not) - check out the lesson on Broth-Based Soups.
Same for the salad. The Belgian endive salad is delicious and pretty - the Soy-Sesame Salad w/ Wild Mushrooms is full of flavor. Lately I have been tossing arugula and sliced Belgian endive with lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, s&p and a few parmesan shavings...light and tasty. Hope this helps. Cheers!
If you type in "Sherry" in the search field (at the top right of any page) you will find several forum discussions on substitutions. As for what it is called in France, I am not sure. It is a fortified Spanish wine. Try asking for that at your local wine store. Cheers!
As always Thanks and I can't wait to try it!
By the way, I would love to shed some light on the Gruyère since I've been living here since 1998. The French know that this cheese is not French. It is however a staple in the French household. This is ALWAYS on the grocerie list and even when you buy a pizza, most of the time that is what's on it unless you get it from a REAL pizzaiolo !
I made this with some dark chicken stock and it was pretty good, I think.
However, if making it for vegetarians is it just a matter of using dark veg stock? I haven't made dark veg stock yet but can't imagine it would be anywhere as dark as a meat based stock?
I've made French Onion Soup with dark vegetable stock and it makes a great soup. I still prefer beef stock, but I am sure any vegetarian would be delighted with the results. Most of the color and flavour in the soup seems to be coming from the caramelized onions anyway. Take the time to get the onions right, and you've got a great soup regardless of the type of stock -- chicken, beef, or vegetable.
Gelatinous stock which is jiggly/solid when cold is perfectly normal. This means you have done a good job of extracting the gelatin during cooking. The fat will float to the surface which can easily be removed to keep the stock grease-free. Nice work!
I made some chick stock yesterday. Wow! It's very good, and has that gelatinous consistency. So, I wanted to do something to really enjoy it, and made some Fr. Onion soup with some of it. I was very reluctant to put vinegar in b/c the stock is so nice, and started experimenting with a little dish and traces of vinegar and a dollop of my soup. I noticed that the flavour did change and become "brighter". But, I also noticed that the soup coated the inside of my mouth a little before I put vinegar in - as though from the butter and oil I'd used to cook the onion. So, I'm wondering, does the vinegar have that purpose in the soup in addition to the flavour change? Funny question, I suppose, but curious if that might also be a reason for the vinegar.