By Scoutie on December 18, 2008
Photo by sefork
Photo by sefork
"I used to caramelize the onions on the stove top, but now I use this fantastic method. Finally, a way to make genuine French Onion Soup without all of the stirring. While it still takes quite some time, the onions are roasted in the oven. Sweet onions, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, will make this recipe overly sweet, so use Yellow or Red, or a combo of both. Use broiler-safe crocks and keep the rim of the bowls 4 to 5 inches from the broiler to obtain a proper melting of the cheeses. Cooks Illustrated chefs prefer using Swanson Certified Organic Free Range Chicken Broth and Pacific Beef Broth, tho others will do fine as well. There is actually more flavor and depth in chicken broth than in beef and that is why they combine it with the beef broth. Much of the cooking time is passive...and the aroma makes the kitchen smell divine! For the best flavor, make the soup a day or 2 in advance, it also freezes well in 2 gallon freezer bags. Prep time includes the soup and the croutons. Cooking time is approximate, please use your judgment. I make this every Christmas Eve along with appetizers and those that missed Christmas Eve INSIST on having a bowl on Christmas morning! LOL It truly is the best French Onion Soup I have ever tasted. For those special occasions, try this one. Hope you enjoy!"
Serving Size: 1 (680 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 6
"I have made other onion soups than were good, less labour intensive and confess to a fair amount of muttering during the caramelization process. "This better be good" etc. I am thrilled! This French Onion Soup is the best I have had outside of Quebec and I can't give it higher praise than that! The cooking down of the onions by this method produced a broth that cannot be duplicated using shortcuts. I am so very glad that there are only two of us and it makes enough for 6 because having this in my freezer will be wonderful for cold nights when we want something hearty and a bit special. I wouldn't hesitate to serve this to guests. Thank you so much for sharing this gem which is now the only French Onion Soup I can see myself making."
"I was just getting ready to post this, and realized I'd not bothered to make a search. Thank you Scoutie! This is an amazing soup. I do not use the red wine in this, however, but do the final deglazing with dry sherry. I also cut my onions smaller. I find long strings of onion difficult to eat. Scoutie notes that this freezes well. I do it in quarts, which is enough to pop into the microwave to thaw and finish under the broiler for a quick week night supper with a Caesar salad. I've not tried the Asiago cheese, preferring a really good Gruyère in its place."
"Wish I could give this 10 stars! I am a connoisseur of french onion soup and this is by far the best I have ever had!!! I have never made it with the combination of beef AND chicken broth. What a difference it makes. The flavor is outstanding! I am throwing out all my other French Onion Soup recipes. Thanks for sharing, Scoutie!"
"This is really good soup! The method for caramelizing the onions is brilliant. Be warned: your house will smell like onions for days--but I don't think that's a bad thing! The asiago cheese is a nice touch, too--it blends well and adds more flavor to the Swiss."
"ABSOLUTELY AWESOME! Finally a technique that works. I intially chose this recipe just for the technique...however, the flavour was the shining star. I made as directed...however had to sub the fresh thyme for dried, and used Merlot. Thank you Scoutie for sharing this phenomenal soup!!!"
"I've always loved french onion soup but had no idea how to make it. This was wonderful and I was thrilled with the results. It wasn't near as hard as I was always worried about. The onions carmalized so nice and the flavor was right on. I topped with swizz cheese as that's what I had and followed the directions closely"
"This recipe is spot on. It is time consuming, but most of the time is passive cooking time. I didn't have a dutch oven, so I used a heavy stockpot and it worked just fine. I couldn't stop eating the soup it was so good. Like another reviewer, I didn't have red wine on hand, so I used dry sherry and the taste wasn't compromised. Thanks for posting."
"I tried this recipe out of the rest because I am a fan of the Cook's Illustrated test kitchens. I have to say this recipe has a depth of flavour that I've only had when in France. The onions reduce and carmelite so richly that it almost seems as though your eating a hearty beef stew.
I subbed red wine for frozen sparkling white wine and did not have any balsamic vinegar. But the flavour of the white gave the tang it needed.
I used a big chunk of french bread tired with Emmental cheese and grilled it to just before burnt and crispy. I highly recommend truong this recipe for an authentic rustic country soup."
"This really hit the spot! The unique combination of red wine, chicken broth, and beef broth really gave it a different flavor than the usual French onion soup. I'd like to try this on the stovetop next time to see if it's as good that way. With two toddlers to take care of, it's hard to make the more complicated, time-consuming recipes. Thanks!"
"Yummy! Just what I was looking for on a cool fall evening. I'm not a French Onion soup connoisseur, so it's hard for me to compare it, because I have only had it once in a restaurant and once from a neighbor's recipe. I think this was sweeter then both and more complex too. I found a recipe for Julia Child's French Onion soup and it called for a dash of cognac to be added, that was the only change I made from this recipe. I tasted it before and after adding it at the end and I really liked the it with the cognac."
"Won't leave a rating now but tried to make half a recipe. I keep getting a burned taste. I drained the herbs and onions and will try again."