Caramelised Onions Stove Or Slow Cooker
The caramelised onions are the star of the soup . Making caramelised onions the classic way on the stove takes upwards of 45 minutes for a giant mound like we use for French Onion Soup.
Its not high-stress or high-energy effort. For most of the time, the onions are cooked over low heat so you just need to stir them every now and then.
Its the sort of thing thats good to make while pottering around the kitchen doing other things. My cast iron pot is 24 cm / 10 wide and it was full to the brim with raw onions and took almost an hour to caramelise. If you have a wider base pot, it will be faster probably closer to 45 minutes.
Though of course, if this all seems like too much effort for you introducing.
Is It Possible To Substitute Onion Powder For Onion Soup Mix
Other ingredients, most likely accessible in your cupboard, can be used as substitutes. Onion powder can mimic the flavor of Lipton onion soup mix in your recipe.
While onion powder will not contain all of the spices or dried onion particles, it will have the desired onion flavor. In recipes with other flavors and seasonings, onion powder works well as a Lipton onion soup mix substitute.
How To Caramelize Onions:
The first step to making traditional French onion soup is to transform that big pile of raw onions into the decadent, sweet, and irresistibly caramelized onions that will form the rich base of this recipe. Caramelization is actually a really simple process, but it does take some time. So turn some music on, maybe pour yourself an extra glass of that white wine we will be using, and get ready to spend some quality time by the stove as we work some onion magic.
To make the caramelized onions, simply melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add your onions, and toss so that they are coated in the butter. Let them cook for about 5 minutes, until they start to turn a bit golden on the bottom, and then give them a stir. Repeat for another 5 more minutes, then give them another good stir. Then continue this rhythm stirring the onions every 3-5 minutes or so initially, then every 1-2 minutes near the end until the onions have caramelized into a rich chestnut brown color. Then stir in a half cup of wine to fully deglaze the bottom of the pan once the onions are ready to go.
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Storing And Freezing French Onion Soup
This soup will keep for about five days in the fridge. To reheat, warm the soup on the stovetop or in the microwave, then top with bread and cheese, and broil before serving.
If youd like to make ahead and freeze your French onion soup, freeze the soup separately from the bread and cheese.
My favorite method for freezing is to place a silicone mini-loaf pan on a baking sheet, ladle portions of soup into the pan, let them freeze solid, then pop out the loaves of soup into a freezer-safe bag or other container. Theyll thaw faster than if you froze the soup in a big block, and you can reheat them in a pot on the stovetop or in individual servings in a microwave-safe bowl.
Is It Possible To Substitute Worcestershire Sauce For Beef Broth
Yes, Worcestershire sauce can be used for beef broth. The disadvantage is that you cant use it to make soups or stews because it lacks the amount of liquid required. Again, youll need a fat source to add flavor to your foods, but itll be worth it. To change the flavor, soy sauce can also be used. Depending on the food youre making, you might want to add some more seasoning.
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The Best Cheese For French Onion Soup
Lets be realjust about any melty cheese is going to be delicious when broiled on top of a crusty slice of bread.
The traditional cheese is Gruyere . Its nutty, slightly sweet taste complements the beefy, oniony broth. If you cant find Gruyere, use Jarlsberg, Emmental, or any Swiss cheese for a similar substitute. Sharp cheddar would be tasty, too.
How To Avoid Tears When Cutting An Onion
Does cutting onions give you tears?
When you cut an onion, it breaks open the onion’s cell walls, which release fumes that react with the water on the surface of your eyes to form sulfuric acid. This burns your eyes, which makes you create more tears.
The best way to avoid this is to limit your exposure to the cut surfaces of the onion and to work quickly. Wipe the cutting board down with a sponge or towel as soon as you are finished.
The method shown here for the onion cut lengthwise will help limit your exposure to the onion fumes that make your eyes hurt.
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Easy French Onion Soup Recipe
Its quite simple to create traditional French onion soup. Its just complex in flavor, like it should be. A simple French onion soup recipe should only take around 10 minutes to prepare, and your soup will simmer to perfection for the rest of the time. Youll have to do some toasting and broiling at the end, but everything comes together so quickly that youll be a pro in no time!
What Is The Best Type Of Onion For French Onion Soup
- Yellow onions are the best type of onion to use for this soup with their medium pungent flavor that ends up mellowing and caramelize beautifully without being overwhelmingly sweet.
- Sweet onions arent recommended as they are more mild. They can also become too sweet once caramelized making them an inferior option.
- Red onions and white onions can be sharper and spicer and a little harsh here.
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Cooking Onion Soup At Home
Of course it was not until culinary school that I realized how silly I have been. After numerous chefs taught me their techniques and special and unique tipsI took away the most important pieces from each chef and carried on. And you better believe I perfected my very own rendition of the ultimate French onion soup.
As it turns outtechniques are always the most important part.
So, YES YOU CAN make traditional French onion soup at home!! I am going to show you just how easy it isbecause lets face iteveryone should learn how to make classic French onion soup at least once in their life
What Is The Best Onion For French Onion Soup
All onions would work well but my favorite onion for making French Onion Soup is the Vidalia or other sweet onion. The sugars in the onion help the caramelization process along and really deeps the flavor lending a sorta sweet/savory thing going on thats superbly splendid in this soup.
I use the same onions for this Caramelized Onion recipe.which is essentially the base for this easy French Onion Soup. If you cant find Vidalia onions or other sweet onions, you can use a combination of yellow and red onions to get the rich, sweet flavor and deep, golden color.
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How To Make The Best French Onion Soup
There are two essential components of a good French onion soup.
The first is the stock. Your soup will only be as good as the stock you are using. This soup traditionally is made with beef stock, though sometimes a good beef stock can be hard to come by and expensive to make.
If you use boxed stock, taste it first! If you don’t like the taste, don’t use it.
The second most important element is to properly caramelize the onions. Caramelizing the amount of onions needed in this recipe will take at least 40 minutes. Caramelizing is a chemical process that occurs when the sugars in the onions reach a certain temperature.
This only happens after a long cooking time . The more caramelized, the deeper the color of the onions and the more flavor you’ll get from them.
Good Beef Broth Is A Must
If you use store bought, which I often do, use a good quality beef broth/stock. I personally do not recommend any of the mainstream brands sold in Australian supermarkets. I use Maggie Beer and Moredough from Harris Farms , or private labels from butchers.
If you cant get good quality beef broth, use chicken or vegetable instead. I find that the quality of those by mainstream brands is much better than the beef stock. The beef is fine to use in things like gravy and stews, but not when its a key ingredient like in this recipe.
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How Many Tablespoons Equals One Packet Of Lipton Onion Soup Mix
There are about 3 tablespoons in a Lipton onion soup packet, give or take a smidge. In most recipes, you can eyeball the amount and use a little more or a little less without worry of ruining the recipe.
The only thing to be mindful of is salt content. If the recipe calls for additional salt, add the soup mix and then season with salt accordingly. Adding both could make it to too salty. Same goes for recipes using broth, opt for a low-sodium broth so you can control the saltiness.
How To Make Soup
One of the most common questions is how to make soup from dry onion soup mix. The process couldnt be simpler! If you want to make soup, add 4 cups boiling water or low sodium beef broth and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Add caramelized onions, frozen veggies or even thinly sliced beef or chicken to make a whole meal.
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Whats In Onion Soup Mix
The base for dry onion soup, sometimes called French Onion Soup Mix, is fairly basic. A blend of:
- Dry onion flakes
- Black pepper
- Fine sea salt
I prefer mine to be extra onion-y , so I use more onion flakes than the store bought version and also add black pepper. Look for a very finely ground black pepper to make the smoothest mix.
You can even go a step further and use garlic flakes instead of onion or use both!
The Broth For French Onion Soup
With the onions caramelized, the next step is to add the liquid and simmer it all together. I start with some sherry, since I love that nutty, oxidized flavor with the caramelized onions. You could also use vermouth or white wine, and some folks even use red wine or port. Take your pick they’re all good.
Next comes the stock, which is the second most important component of the soup. Traditionally, the stock of choice for French onion soup is beef stock, but beef stock is very time-consuming to make at home, and store-bought versions are so terrible, they’re not worth considering.
Chicken stock is therefore your best option, and it produces absolutely wonderful results. By far the best you can do is homemade chicken stock. Use good caramelized onions and homemade stock, and you’ll have a soup that won’t even need the cheese to be delicious.
If you don’t have homemade stock on hand, store-bought can work well, though it’s worth paying attention to the brand. I used multiple types in my testing, and the results ranged from great to horrendous. Take a look at our chicken stock taste test for some recommended brands.
A few sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf elevate the soup even more, but I take it a step further, adding a splash of fish sauce for complexity and depthdon’t worry, it won’t taste fishyand a hit of cider vinegar to balance some of that oniony sweetness.
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French Onion Soup Ingredients
In our delicious take on this French bistro classic, we look to the simplest of ingredients to yield the most incredibly rich and decadent flavors. Heres what youll need:
- Yellow onions. Dont mistake our quantities for a misprint. The onions cook down a ton as they caramelize, so youll need more than you think.
- Beef stock. We keep a Costco-sized jar of Better Than Bouillons organic beef stock in our fridge at all times, mostly so we can make onion soup anytime the craving strikes.
- Gruyère or Comté cheese. And lots of it! Not only are these famous Swiss cheeses nutty and rich, theyre the very best melting cheeses in the whole world. Now is not the time to be shy .
- Fresh + dried herbs. Thyme, garlic, and a bay leaf do the bulk of the seasoning in this simple soup.
- White wine and Port . Thats right, our French onion soup gets a double dose of booze.
How To Make Easy French Onion Soup
To prepare this flavorful soup, begin by sautéeing sliced onions in butter for about 7-8 minutes, until tender. Stir in beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and salt to taste. Then, bring to a simmer, cover and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Keep the soup warm until ready to serve. When ready to serve, preheat your broiler. Place oven-proof individual bowls on a baking sheet and ladle soup into each. Finish by topping each with a slice of thick crusty toasted bread and a slice of provolone cheese. Place under broiler until cheese melts and is slightly golden. See how easy that is?
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Best Type Of Pot To Use For This Soup
- I found alight colored cast iron pot works best for French Onion Soup. It is heavy and evenly distributes heat, and by using one with a light colored interior you can really see and monitor the shade of the onions.
- Non-stick pots dont caramelize as well or as evenly, plus any type of dark coated pot makes it hard to see the surface . Its also hard to track the shade of the onions caramelizing.
- Many would say stainless steel works fine but for me personally it browned the onions too quickly and they ended up too dark.
Make The Garlic Bread
- Arrange the slices of bread on a baking sheet. I like to cover it with parchment paper for easier cleaning later.
- Brush with olive oil and bake until golden.
- As soon as the bread is out of the oven, rub a garlic clove on the top side of each slice. Trust me, this simple step really makes a whole lot of difference in this recipe! The garlic taste is not too pronounced, but makes everything better.
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How To Prep This Soup Ahead Of Time
For make-ahead prep for this Easy French Onion Soup, prepare the soup through the simmering stage, then cover and refrigerate up to two days. When ready to serve, rewarm soup stove top, then proceed with recipe by filling oven safe onion soup crocks, bowls or wide-mouthed mugs with soup, top each with bread and cheese then bake under the broiler until melty and bubbly.
So what are you waiting for? Warm up with a bowl of this Easy French Onion Soup right at home. Enjoy!
Ways To Make French Onion Soup
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French Onion Soup Serving Suggestions
This French onion soup recipe is deeply flavorful and rich, so a little goes a long way. I love to serve small bowls as a starter for a holiday dinner or a date night in. Pair it with a simple salad, like my Caesar Salad or Pear Salad, and any protein you like! It would also be excellent with pasta. Try serving it with one of these recipes:
What Kind Of Cheese
Gruyere, which is a type of mild swiss cheese, is commonly added to top a french onion soup recipe. It has a mild flavor and melts perfectly over the bread.
There are no hard and fast rules for a cheese option many people use a combination of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Why not experiment with other soft, melty cheeses like Brie or Havarti, or even blue cheese crumbles?
Broiling: French onion soup can be broiled in almost any bowl on low. You can find french onion soup crocks online or at the dollar store. If you dont have an oven safe bowl, simply broil the cheese over toast and add to your soup.
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What Is The Traditional Cheese For French Onion Soup
Im a big fan of Gruyere cheese and, as Ive heard, its the go-to cheese for topping French Onion Soup in most restaurants. Its rich, smooth, buttery and melts so easily.its also the key to getting that golden brown, bubbling crust thats so iconic with Baked French Onion Soup.
If youre not a fan of gruyere or Swiss cheese, you could use a mild cheddar, provolone or another mildly sharp cheese in its place.
Finishing The French Onion Soup
With our building blocks in place, the final step is fixing up the bowls for serving.
I start by buttering warm croutons and rubbing them with garlic.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik
Then I spoon a little of the soup into each bowl. I set a crouton on top and top that with cheese.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik
Then I ladle in the bulk of the soup, nearly filling up each bowl. I add another crouton on top of that.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik
And finish it with a very generous grating of Gruyère cheese. I broil the soups until the cheese is melted and browned in spots, then top each one off with a garnish of minced chives, for a little hit of fresh onion flavor to play off the deep sweetness of the cooked onions.
Each spoonful should be a mix of melted cheese, broth, tender onions, and bread. Aside from the time it takes, it couldn’t be easier, or more satisfying.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik
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