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Old 12-15-2006, 06:08 AM   #31
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One way to have an almost instant French onion soup available is to caramelize a LARGE amount of onions in a crockpot. Fill the crockpot to the tippy top with onions. Sprinkle with a little balsamic vinegar and perhaps some Better Than Bouillion and a cup or so of water. Cook on low for 24 hours or until the onions are caramelized. It will reduce to about 6 cups!! Freeze in muffin cups and put in a plastic bag for all your caramelized onion needs. Delicious!!
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Old 01-03-2007, 05:36 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
Yes, the water versus stock would make a huge difference. Since money is tight, when you CAN, buy a good quality chicken base and beef base. Some of the cheaper ones are VERY salty. You don't have to use a lot to get a nice smooth flavor. A combination of the two gives a nice smooth flavor. BUT, if I had to choose just one or the other I would use a beef broth. I also use some port and burgundy wine in mine but it's not a must. I buy the cheap port and the cheap burgundy. They will both last a long time and can be used in other dishes. Also, a combination of onions gives a unique flavor. But just yellow or white is good too.

Also, once you have added your base/broth and it's still a little too bland don't be afraid to add a bit of salt. The smoothness of "just the right amount of base" will be there but the salt will flavor it more. This is the recipe I have used for years:

FRENCH ONION SOUP

3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
3 large onions - sliced **see note
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons flour
5 (16-ounce) cans beef broth
2 1/2 cans water (empty broth cans)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Port wine
3/4 cup Burgundy wine
French bread
Mozzarella, Gruyere or Swiss cheese

In large soup pot, melt the butter with the oil. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add sugar and flour, cook for 1 minute. Add beef broth, water, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in wines, simmer for 2 hours.

Preheat broiler To Serve: Pour into onion soup crocks. Place a piece of French bread on top. Cover bread with choice of cheese. Place in oven and broil until cheese is melted and bubbly.

***Note - I do use a combination of yellow onion, red onion, and leeks. It makes for a really smooth flavor using all 3 of them. Last time I used 2 yellow, 2 red, and 3 leeks. You can't have too many onions in my opinion! LOL I did make a mistake but only once! I thought it would really be good if it cooked for a long time - NOPE - when I took the top off the onions had all "melted" but the broth sure was good! LOL

Also, do not add more Port or Burgundy than the recipe calls for (I know this from experience too!). It makes the broth too sweet.
Oh my gosh, I made this for lunch today - absolutely wonderful!!!!! Thank you Kitchenelf!
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Old 01-03-2007, 05:47 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Candocook
One way to have an almost instant French onion soup available is to caramelize a LARGE amount of onions in a crockpot. Fill the crockpot to the tippy top with onions. Sprinkle with a little balsamic vinegar and perhaps some Better Than Bouillion and a cup or so of water. Cook on low for 24 hours or until the onions are caramelized. It will reduce to about 6 cups!! Freeze in muffin cups and put in a plastic bag for all your caramelized onion needs. Delicious!!
this sounds like a very sensible and efficient way to do things.
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:12 PM   #34
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I'll also add in here that on a cold wintry day or when I'm feeling a bit under the weather, I sometimes will just make myself an "individual" serving of onion soup.

I just slice up one small onion & saute it in some butter & olive oil until it's done to my taste, then add some Swanson's chicken broth, & dashes of white wine & cognac if I have them on hand. If I have the "gratinee" ingredients, I'll add them too, but even just "as is" it's great if you have a cold or just want something quick but good for lunch on a cold day.
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:58 PM   #35
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BreezyCooking...YES. I use Pacific Natural Foods free range chicken broth.
I always have white wine on hand...cognac??sometimes.
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:57 PM   #36
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Ingredients for Potato, Tomato And Onion Soup Recipe
  • Mashed potato (leftover), cold
  • Tomato, chopped
  • Onion, peeled, chopped fine
  • Butter
  • Water, 3 times as much as potato
  • Seasonings to taste
Instructions
  1. Tomato And Onion Soup Recipe, With a whip mix the water slowly with the mashed potato, beating constantly.
  2. Add the butter, seasonings, onion and tomato.
  3. Put in a sauce pan.
  4. Boil for about 15 minutes.
  5. Then serve.
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Old 01-25-2007, 11:25 AM   #37
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Here is a recipe that I made for a dinner party and everyone loved it! I've made several different recipes and I think this by far is the best I've had!

French Onion Soup:

2 T unsalted butter
2 T Olive Oil
add and stir to cook
5 Medium Onion thinly sliced
pinch of dried thyme
cook stirring occasionally, and keeping a viligant eye on the onions so they do not scorch, over medium heat. As soon as they start to brown, after about 15 min, reduce the heat to med-low and continue to cook, covered, stirring more often, until onions are a rich brown color, about 40 minutes.

Stir in:
2 T dry sherry or cognac
increase the heat to high and cook, stirring constantly, until all the sherry has cooked off. Stir in:
3 1/2 C brown beef stock, Roasted vegetable stock or brown chicken stock
bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 20 min.
season with
1 to 1 1/2 t salt
1/4 to 1/2 t ground black pepper

put oven proof cups on baking sheet, ladle hot soup into the bowls and top each with:
1 to 3 slices french bread, toasted if fresh

sprinkle each bowl with:
3 T grated Gruyere cheese

broil and bake at 450 until cheese is melted and started to brown.
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:53 PM   #38
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Most important - Lots of onions cooked low and slow preferably in clarified butter. If you use clarified butter it won't burn. Also... a good beef stock like Minor's is the best - never plain water.
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Old 01-30-2007, 07:31 PM   #39
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Epic Onion Soup

I begin my onion soup by checking for "flat ribs" at the market. I buy them when they are cheapest. I go home and roast them with a rub I make. I gnaw on the ribs until I've had my fill and throw the bones in the freezer. When I run out of room in my freezer, it's stock making time. I usually plan this for some Saturday when I have indoor chores.
Get out the biggest, heaviest pot you have and throw the bones in first, no liquid, not even thawed. Heat this up (med. med-hi) until you can smell it and little bits are starting to stick to the pan. Throw in celery, carrots, onions and garlic, these can be in good size chunks. (Don't forget a good pinch or two of kosher salt and a few cranks of cracked pepper.)You may need a bit of olive oil at this point, just to keep things from sticking too much. (Not too much) Rattle these things around until it seems as though each item has gotten a little browned.
Here comes the water. I use enough to top my ingredients by at least as high as the ingredients are deep. So, by that rule of thumb, if your ingredients are about 3 inches deep in your pot, add water to, at least, 6 inches.
I hate to let this boil as I don't like to skim for the "scum". So, I keep it just below boil for awhile (say 20 mins.), then cover and simmer for awhile ( as long as it takes to do your other chores, at least two hours.) Remove the cover, let it reduce for awhile. This timing is now dependent on your taste. I keep a ladle and a mug by the pot to taste until it's the strength I want. I set the timer for 45 mins to an hour and check on it through out the afternoon.

This process takes you up to supper time, (if you start late morning.) Set aside this pot to let it get cool enough to handle. This will be an hour or so.
Line a colander with cheesecloth and pour your first pot through this into either another pot (smaller this time) or a bowl. Now, the broth needs to cool down enough to put in the fridge. I usually do this right before bedtime.

Next day, take the fat layer off with a spatula. This broth should be good and jellied. It is ready to use or freeze or split and do both. You will reduce it more when you actually make a soup with it.

Considering that I love my roasted flat ribs (cheap cheap) and will have quite a few meals of them first, this stock is really a bonus $-wise. ( I even dry out the boiled bones and save them as treats for my dog. Talk about cheap!)
So, that's the best stock I know. Always the key to a good onion soup.

I use large sweet spanish onions, sliced as paper thin as possible, enough butter to keep the onions moist until golden and my secret (no longer) ingredient is a good splash or two of vermouth on the onions a minute or so before I add the fabulous home-made beef stock. This should simmer until it tastes the way you want it. (Correct for salt and pepper. I never add herbs, but if you do, do it at the end to avoid them turning bitter.
I love to try artisanal breads, like rosemary-garlic, or olive or any of those hearty breads that even supermarkets are making, for the croutons. I toast (or stale them if I think of it early enough) slices and cut them onto bowl-fitting shapes.
For cheese, it's Jarlsberg or nothing for me. I love the stringy, chewy, strong flavor.
Float the crouton on the soup, top with piled shavings of cheese, broil till it's deep golden brown, (even almost scorched, if you dare.)

So, I think I beat everybody in the time factor, as this can take WEEKS starting with the rib suppers.
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