French onion soup is a tasty and filling meal that may be served as an appetizer or main course. It’s produced by caramelizing onions in butter until they’re a rich golden brown hue, then adding beef broth and white wine and simmering for hours. The onion is unquestionably the hero of French onion soup. However, if you aren’t an experienced French cook, you may find it difficult to choose which onions are the finest for French onion soup, which is understandable!
When cooking French Onion Soup, there are many different onions to pick from. Some prefer red onion, whereas others prefer sweet yellow or white onion.
What Are The Best Onion For French Onion Soup?
To avoid overwhelming you with information, we’ll concentrate on the three most frequent varieties of onions used in French Onion Soup. There are three types of onions: red, sweet, yellow, and white.
Red onions have a strong taste that is typically wanted in hearty, savory meals such as soups or braised meat dishes (like Beef Bourguignon). The sulfur elements that allow red onions to develop a dark brownish-red hue also contribute to the rich color of soups. Apart from their crisp taste, they are generally sweet and have a tiny “bite” or spice compared to other onions. They’re also less costly than the yellow variety!
Sweet Yellow Onions
These onions have a little sweetness and a little amount of pungency to them. It has a milder taste than the red or white variants. As a result, they give your meal a more balanced flavor, making them ideal for use in recipes where the onion should be detectable but not dominating (like French Onion soup).
These onions are the most powerful of all the varieties we’ve discussed, with a strong onion taste. They’re often utilized in meals where you want the onion to take center stage. They don’t stand up to cooking as well as red or yellow onions.
What Is The Best Onion For French Onion Soup?
Now that we’ve covered the many sorts of onions, it’s time to address the main question. What is the most delicate onion to use in French Onion Soup?
The reality is, it doesn’t make a difference! You may use whatever sort of onion you have on hand; all that counts is that they are caramelized correctly. As a result, they give your soup a rich taste without being overpowering or harsh. So, if you don’t have a sweet yellow onion on hand, don’t worry. Any onion will suffice!
However, if we had to choose one sort of onion to suggest, it would be the sweet yellow variety. They have a nice taste without being too harsh, and they’re light enough not to overshadow the other flavors in your soup. The caramelization process releases the natural sugars in these onions, giving your soup a somewhat sweet taste.
That’s all there is to it! Any onion that can be adequately caramelized without being too harsh or bitter (like red) and won’t overshadow other tastes is ideal for French Onion Soup (like white). The best onions are sweet yellow onions, but any onions will do!
How Should Onions Be Caramelized For French Onion Soup?
Choose the Vidalia kind if you want very sweet onions. However, this soup may use any onion since the caramelization process brings out the onion’s inherent sweetness. You might caramelize shallots or leeks for a creative twist on this classic.
Begin by peeling and slicing the onions into thin rounds to caramelize them. Add them to a big sauté pan with a good splash of olive oil and butter and gently sauté on medium-low heat. Some chefs even add a pinch of sugar to the onions to speed up the caramelization process.
Cook, stirring regularly until the onions are an even, deep golden brown color. It should take at least 45 minutes to caramelize onions well. Alternatively, you may caramelize onions in a slow cooker with little work.
How to Freeze French Onion Soup
You can freeze French onion soup without the croutons: Store the cooled soup in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to three months. You may freeze it in serving-size amounts to make things simpler for yourself in the future; this way, you won’t have to defrost and refreeze the whole batch.
To thaw frozen French onion soup, place it in the refrigerator overnight to defrost. Are you in a hurry? Submerge the sealed container in cold water to speed up the thawing process.
How to Make French Onion Soup
In a medium saucepan, pour the beef stock. Toss in a few thyme sprigs (save one or two for garnish), dry white wine, sherry, and Worcestershire sauce to the pan. Cook the stock mixture for approximately 5 minutes or until it turns aromatic. Take the thyme sprigs out. If necessary, season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and fold the edges up to create a sheet within a sheet.
In two French onion soup bowls, divide the caramelized onions. Pour the stock over the onions with care, leaving 1/2 inch space in the basin. Place four pieces of a French baguette on top of the soup after toasting them.
Add 1/2 cup grated Gruyère to each bowl of toasted baguette pieces. Remove the leaves off the thyme sprigs and spread them over the cheese.
Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the soup is bubbling and the cheese has melted. Broil for a minute or two to add color to the cheese while keeping a careful watch. Remove from the oven and serve right away.
Instructions For Making Ahead and Storing Leftovers
French Onion Soup is a great ‘make ahead’ soup recipe, so it was a favorite menu option for dinner parties in the 1960s and 1970s. Each component may be manufactured ahead of time, and assembly takes just a few minutes. You can have your first course ready in 15 minutes with absolutely little work.
Not only that, but French Onion Soup keeps nicely in the freezer. I always prepare extra to wash the soup bowls and then refill them with onions and broth. I freeze them overnight, then use a little hot water to melt the exterior just enough to release it. As a result, the soup portion will be precisely the right size and shape for your bowls/ramekins.
Freeze the soups for up to three months in a freezer bag. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and set the frozen soup block in the bowl/ramekin to reheat. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and fold the edges up to create a sheet within a sheet.
Bake the bowls for 30 minutes at 400 degrees F on the prepared baking sheet. Toasted bread slices or cubes and grated cheese go on top. Bake for a further 10 minutes, or broil if desired.
What Cheese Is Best For French Onion Soup?
Traditionally, [easyazon_link identifier=”B00PO4265E” locale=”US” tag=”realikal-20″]Gruyère[/easyazon_link] is used to top French onion soup, although other cheeses may also be used. Most French onion soups are topped with three kinds of cheese for ultimate richness.
The taste profile of Gruyére will vary depending on its age. Young Gruyére has a creamy, nutty, salty taste character, while aged Gruyére has an earthy flavor profile. The average age of a Gruyére is five to twelve months. Most stores have a deli department where you may get it.
Gruyére has a superb taste profile and melts quickly, but it is not the show’s star, making it an ideal baking cheese. It doesn’t overpower the taste of the caramelized onions in French onion soup; instead, it adds a layer of creaminess and melting richness.
How Should you Slice Onions for French Onion Soup?
The recipe for French onion soup generally requires homogeneous onion slices that keep their shape throughout the cooking process. As opposed to dicing and slicing, cutting pole to pole is an ideal approach to do this when you want your onions to combine into a sauce, for example.
Place half of the onion on your cutting board and chop it in half vertically, pole to pole. Cut a succession of even slices from north to south, angling your knife to keep the onion slices equal. Change the angle of your blade to reach the pinnacle of the dome while you continue to miss your onions.
Flip your onion and repeat the process on the other side once you’ve reached the apex. You’ll get consistent slices that cook simultaneously if you do it this way. For a dish like French onion soup, this is critical.
What Is The Difference Between Regular And Sweet Onions?
The flavor is the most notable distinction between sweet onions and normal onions. Sweet onions have a softer, somewhat sweeter taste than ordinary onions. They’re ideal for meals like French Onion Soup, where you want the onion to be apparent but not overbearing. Regular onions have a more strong taste and are crisper. They’re best utilized in recipes where the onion is the main attraction, such as burgers or pizza.