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The Perfect French Onion Soup

  1. Jan 2, 2009 #1
    The Perfect French Onion Soup

    I have the basic ingredients, I think. White onions, Swanson's Beef broth, assorted cheeses, and the French bread is coming. Anything else?

    One of the basic problems I'm having is with the cheese. It should melt in your mouth and not in the soup. Is this possible?

    Bubble gum cheese is a factor. This is very unacceptable, and has been a problem. The cheese sometimes ends up as gob of bubble gum that doesn't chew properly.

    Should I use high glutine bread so it doesn't melt in the soup? I'm not really sure if gluton is the factor.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2009 #2
    The cheese doesnt melt in your mouth. Its a bit like the cheese on a pizza. You gotta chew it, like bubble gum.
     
  4. Jan 2, 2009 #3

    Evo

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    Can you be more specific? The cheese should melt on top of the bread that is placed over the soup. The piece of bread should be large enough to pretty much cover the entire surface of the crock the soup is in. What type of cheese are you using?

    Also, are you toasting the bread first?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  5. Jan 2, 2009 #4
    Be sure to grill (gratinee) the soup for a few minutes, to melt the cheese.
     
  6. Jan 2, 2009 #5
    I use smoky provolone cheese, in very thin slices. One under the bread and one over it. I always use pan drippings from a roast to slightly brown the onions in, and a really crusty French bread, even better if its a little stale.
     
  7. Jan 2, 2009 #6
    I see I'm a novice amoung experts :smile: I was thinking of grilling the cheese with the bread, like a small grill cheese sandwitch or two.

    I'll be experimenting with different cheeses. What do you recommend?
     
  8. Jan 2, 2009 #7

    Evo

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    The most comon are mozzarella, gruyere, provolone, and swiss.

    You need to get individual oven proof crocks, place the lightly toasted bread on top of the soup, cover with cheese, then quickly melt under the broiler.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  9. Jan 2, 2009 #8

    LowlyPion

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    Here is an interesting approach that I haven't tried but sounds pretty workable. A crock-pot for the caramelizing step. (Not the baking step.)

    http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2008/02/the_best_french_onion_soup.html

    I like the idea of freezing up a batch of caramelized onions and making it more readily. I've recently seen some small crock-pots that might be a good size to caramelize with. (Disregard the pretentiousness of the website, I think there are some good tips in the article.)
     
  10. Jan 2, 2009 #9
    The photo looks delicious, LP. At first, it looks sloppy, but I get the idea now. I was thinking that I could skip the oven by grilling the cheese on the bread, but would leave out the crunchy cheese around the outside and edges.
     
  11. Jan 5, 2009 #10
    What's the difference between fying onions and carmelizing them?
     
  12. Jan 5, 2009 #11

    Evo

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    Caramelization occurs when you fry the onions long enough for them to turn brown.
     
  13. Jan 5, 2009 #12
    Caramelizing means cooking the onions in oil or butter or both over low heat for a long time: 30 minutes to an hour, until they turn a kind of mahogany color. Unlike fried onions, which are mild, these are very sweet and rich-tasting.
    omg Evo wish you could taste my caramelized onion and olive tarts, made in puffed pastery. Talk about a savory delight!
     
  14. Jan 6, 2009 #13
    Thanks Evo, hypatia. I've been at it piecemeal. I'm going to have to overcome my shopa-phobia and get stuff myself. I made a list for my wife and she came back with white onions, the wrong cheeses, and two 8 inch oven oven dishes instead of soup crocks. Good grief.
     
  15. Jan 6, 2009 #14

    Evo

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    So, you're the cook in the family!

    Keep us posted!
     
  16. Jan 6, 2009 #15

    LowlyPion

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    I was at the store yesterday and bought a crockpot to make it myself. Curses that I didn't open the package in the store. I got home and it wasn't a crockpot at all. It was a crackpot. Another trip to the store later and I had a half dozen onions percolating toward caramelization before bedtime. The kitchen now this morning is infused with a rich buttery onion odor and the onions have plunged toward a chestnut brown. I'm just some shaved Gruyere and stale baguette away from satisfying the gastronomic itch this thread has started. I will freeze the unused portion of the onion and enjoy it again several more times in the coming weeks.

    So thanks for the suggestion. It's kick started a pleasant resurrection of a dish that I made only a couple of times before because of the fuss of it all.
     
  17. Jan 6, 2009 #16

    Evo

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    I lost the crock part of my crockpot when I moved. Perhaps I should get another one. I was so tired last night, I had Taco Bell for dinner. Their taco salads don't have half as much as they used to, I could always make 2 full meals out of one.

    Which crockpot did you get, if I may ask?
     
  18. Jan 6, 2009 #17

    LowlyPion

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    Walmart - $15 - Made in China. Durand I think is the brand name.

    Nothing fancy. Off - Low - High - Warm. No pilot light. But it works for what I need and the servo control on a crockpot is a pretty simple thermostat. So what can go wrong ... besides having the pot pulverized in shipment?
     
  19. Jan 6, 2009 #18

    LowlyPion

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    So far from my limited experience I think you can leave the onions on Low for overnight which I did or even for a workday I suppose, but I would want to check it and stir it down after too much more than 8 - 10 hours. I would probably worry about it all day if I left it unattended and for no real good reason it seems other than my paranoid imagination of what could happen if it went on for 20 hours or so. I hate cleaning up burned char out of pots.
     
  20. Jan 6, 2009 #19

    Evo

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    That's just my speed. Thanks.

    So the first was actually a crackpot?
     
  21. Jan 6, 2009 #20

    LowlyPion

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    I couldn't believe how shattered it was. The packaging was holding it together. I returned it within an hour of buying it. There was no question that I could have gotten it out of the box and put it back like that. I was annoyed with myself for not checking before I got it.
     
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