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Old 09-23-2006, 11:25 AM   #11
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Culpeper, VA
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I have to agree with Nick re: onion caramelization. Gretchen - it really does depend on how much you're making, your cooking vessel, & the heat you use. Caramelizing your onions for less than an hour does not automatically result in "an inadequate soup". That's quite a large generalization.

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Old 09-23-2006, 12:05 PM   #12
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Sorry for the generalization. I have seen recipes that say "saute onions for 10 minutes and add broth." That is an inadequate soup for my table. First timers do come here and might like some guidelines as to what to look for in "caramelized onions".
I guess I just follow Julia Child's recipe. 3# of onions cooked SLOWLY in a stockpot so the juices run back down--not burned or even very brown. The longer you cook them the better it is. And you are certainly welcome to adjust for amount as you want but 3# of onions yields about a cup of finished product for continuing the process to a lucious soup.

If anyone wants to make an "instant" French onion soup with a bit of advance prep. Fill your crockpot slam jam to the top with sliced onions. Drizzle with a little balsamic. Cook for 24 hours or more, until all are caramelized. Freeze in muffin tins and then pop out into a plastic bag. Proceed with the recipe.

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Old 12-30-2006, 08:11 PM   #13
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Les Halles soup report

Hmmmm well I don't want to start another thread if it's not warranted. But I'd like report my opinion of Anthony Bourdain's onion soup in his book "Les Halles".

I have made MUCH better, simpler onion soup! I prefer beef stock (it's much richer than dark chicken stock) and though I thought the additions of balsamic vinegar and port wine sounded great ... they weren't. At all. Too sweet, mostly. Very disappointing.

I have to get back on this horse and make good ole French Onion Soup, soon.

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Old 12-31-2006, 01:39 AM   #14
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Did you use sweet onions like Vidalia's/Reds/Maui or standard Yellow jobbers? As I mentioned earlier, I use Yellow onions because I find the sweet varieties too sweet. I also measure carefully, and use exactly 1fl.oz each of Port/Balsamic/Calvados per 1qt stock/2lbs onions. It's easy to add 2fl.oz of one by mistake if just tipping the bottle into the pan when deglazing.

My recipe is different from that of Anthony Bourdain's, but I did add the bacon and balsamic after trying his. Sorry to hear you didn't like those components.

I'm sick as a dog and just had a batch last night. My medicine!

Nick ~ "Egg whites are good for a lot of things; lemon meringue pie, angel food cake, and clogging up radiators." - MacGyver
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