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Old 01-26-2009, 03:59 PM   #1
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French Onion Soup Help

I love french onion soup. Yesterday I was out at Marie Callendar's and tried their recipe. It was okay but very bitter and that's what I've found in lots of recipes. Any suggestions??

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Old 01-26-2009, 04:02 PM   #2
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I'm not sure what would cause the bitterness except something with how you are cooking the onions or maybe the wine (if you are using wine). Can you share the recipe you tried?
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:14 PM   #3
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A caveman could do it.

Not sure what would be bitter unless you didn't brown the onions. When you cook the onions, keep the pot on medium heat. You don't want to brown them, just really carmelize them.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:38 PM   #4
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Glorie, the recipe I use is similar to what Jeekinz posted (not sure why you titled the link "A caveman could do it" ... ?) and we have always had good results. The key really is cooking the onions until they good an sweet. It takes me a good hour to get them how we like them.

With your recipe, if you could post how you are doing it as well, we might be able to help more.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeekinz View Post
A caveman could do it.

Not sure what would be bitter unless you didn't brown the onions. When you cook the onions, keep the pot on medium heat. You don't want to brown them, just really carmelize them.
That is a great recipe. I've been using it for years. I actually keep the heat on medium-low, unless I am standing over the pan. It's important to caramelize them slowly so they achieve the sweetness you are looking for. They will be brown when they're fully caramelized, but it takes some time. As well, you might try white onions rather than the yellow ones they sell in the supermarket. Sometimes those yellow ones end up bitter, no matter how hard you try.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:45 PM   #6
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As well, you might try white onions rather than the yellow ones they sell in the supermarket. Sometimes those yellow ones end up bitter, no matter how hard you try.
I make FOS all the time, as it is my favorite food in the world next to fondue.

I always use Spanish onions, the large yellow ones and mine is never, ever bitter. In fact sometimes they can be too sweet.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:58 PM   #7
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I love using walla walla sweet onions... what recipe do you use Glorie?

here's the one I use

2 cups onions...Walla walla or another sweet onion
2 tablespoons sweet butter
4 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup white wine


swiss cheese, parm cheese, French bread,

Melt your butter and add your sliced onions. Cook until golden brown.

Add beef broth, wine, W. sauce. Bring to a boil.

Simmer for 10 minutes. Put soup in oven safe soup bowls and top with French bread and then top with your choice of cheese. Broil until cheese is melted.

I also sometimes add stew meat and mushrooms to make it more of a main dish.

oh so yummmmmy!!!!
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:02 PM   #8
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I hope it is Ok to use both (Yellow & White)...I usually use both when making FOS...Sometimes I even add a little Red too!
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:05 PM   #9
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I use whatever onions I have on hand. The only time I can really taste a difference is when I use Vidalias (my days of walla walla's are done ...).


Quote:
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...I also sometimes add stew meat and mushrooms to make it more of a main dish...
Sounds like a yummy idea!
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I use whatever onions I have on hand. The only time I can really taste a difference is when I use Vidalias (my days of walla walla's are done ...).




Sounds like a yummy idea!

oh it is!!!
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:09 PM   #11
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Actually Giada made onion soup the other day, looked extremely easy and quick. Try to look it up on Food network, it was last thursday.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:10 PM   #12
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I'm guessing the "bitterness" is coming from trying to cook the onions too quickly, thus burning them instead of slowly browing/caramelizing them. Burnt onions (& garlic) are definitely bitter.

Cooking the onions properly is pretty much the most important step to making a good onion soup, regardless of what recipe you use.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:38 PM   #13
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I think it was partly the recipe that I had which didn't call for sugar and the fact that I probably cooked the onions too quickly and the fond got bitter. Thanks to all! I can't wait to try your recipes!
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:13 PM   #14
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I always use a mix of beef and chicken broth. Seems to give a better flavor.
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:25 PM   #15
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Glorie, the recipe I use is similar to what Jeekinz posted (not sure why you titled the link "A caveman could do it" ... ?)
I think that is a reference to the Geico commercials about it being so easy a caveman could do it! I've never made FOS but from reading this thread I'm going to have to try it. I LOVE FOS and DH LOVES anything onions so we may just have a winner if I can successfully make my own!
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:55 PM   #16
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Canned beef broth tends to be bitter, so I use half beef and half chicken. I also make it when Vidalia onions are in season.
Patience is required to caramelize the onions. Do it low and slow. If you cook the onions in a non-stick pan, you only need a couple tbls of EVOO and a couple of butter. If you are using onions that are not as sweet, add a pinch of sugar to the pan.

If your finished product tastes a little bland, add a packet of dry French onion soup mix. No one will know unless you tell the.
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:55 AM   #17
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Julia once said in a class that the traditional stock for French Onion Soup was lamb! However, she also said that given so many Americans' aversion to lamb, that would never fly here.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:15 AM   #18
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I only use chicken stock for mine, & I'm so used to it now that I find beef stock versions too strong for me. I find a good chicken stock - either homemade or your favorite commercial brand - melds very nicely with the caramelized onions & doesn't overpower the wine & cognac.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:42 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leolady View Post
I always use a mix of beef and chicken broth. Seems to give a better flavor.
Ditto on the mix of broths - it REALLY smooths out the flavor. I also use red onions, white onions, and leeks in mine. A dash of Port and a dash of Burgundy. I take my time with the onions; getting them to the right color. No need to hurry.

MMMMM....I see FOS in my very near future!
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:08 AM   #20
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MMMMM....I see FOS in my very near future!
Elf, I am thinking the same thing. We are having LOTS of soup weather here.
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