Monday, March 26, 2007

Help!!! French Onion soup..

with no depth of richnes or flavor grrrrrrr!! A favorite soup when dining out, so I thought I'll go to the Panera Bread site and use their recipe found here. I was a tiny bit above bland.
You know when you take that first bite or in this case sip and in your mind it is supposed to taste just like the very same soup you had at the restaurant a couple a weeks ago. Well it wasn't and needless to say we were disappointed.
It was just OK......see it looks good. Tell me what I did wrong please.

12 comments:

Brian said...

If I had to guess, I would say that you used canned/boxed stock, rather than homemade consommé. Another possibility is that you didn't use enough salt, but really, the consommé is key in a good French Onion Soup.

Also, if you can get the soup with the cheese covering it in the oven for long enough to properly brown the cheese, it would be even better. But I'm a sucker for melted cheeses.

Chris said...

I don't know! I have only made it once for my ex-crazy - several years back. He loved it. All I can think of is the recipe I had included a good amount of butter.

Debbie said...

When in doubt, more garlic! >G<
And I add a lot of fresh ground pepper. I add the slightest pinch of sugar, too. It doesn't make it sweet...but I can taste the difference.
French Onion Soup...I usually make it in the fall, but now you've got my taste buds working...

Doodles said...

ya know Brian I bet you are right. Consomme = richness of flavor. I would have left the soup under the broiler a little longer but I wasn't sure about the bowls ability to retain the heat. I'm a gooey cheese lover to the more the better.
Thanks for all the advice I appreciate that.

Freya and Paul said...

When I make onion soup I don't always use stock (gasp!). Here's what I do:
chop lots and lots of onions (like 6 or 7), just regular white ones, not sweet ones. Sweat these down for maybe 30-40 minutes in butter with lots of black pepper, a little salt and a pinch of brown sugar, over really low heat until they caramelise. Then, I pour over one and a half pints water, dash of worcestershire sauce, bring to the boil, season some more and maybe add some thyme leaves.
Some recipes use wine but I just use water, onions and the seasoning. Here's my link to when I last made it. Hope it helps!
p.s. I love Paneras restaurants!
http://zombiesnack.blogspot.com/2007/02/soup-day-3.html

mooncrazy said...

Freya, you have Panerea in England? What? I can't get one within forty miles.

I think it's the cooking time. I roast some beef rib bones with Red onions in my iron kettle for a few hours. Then I use both beef AND chicken canned broth.

sandi @ the whistlestop cafe said...

It does look yummy, I like mine thick with onions...and gooey with cheese!

Freya and Paul said...

Unfortunately we don't have Paneras in the UK but there is one within 20 miles of my parents in law (who live in WI) so I always make a visit there at least once when we visit!
Hope your next soup works out well!

Anonymous said...

Do a definite deep caramelization on onions before deglazing, then you don't need to add sugar. Use marsala instead of red wine. Use a bit of balsamic and soy. When finished simmering, blend 1/10 to 1/4 of the soup and pour back in.

maltese parakeet said...

what, brian, you left a comment on our site without mentioning an alton brown recipe?! ;)

Doodles said...

brian I did take a look at Alton's recipe and it did not have consomme in it.

Brian said...

Heheh, no, no Alton Brown recipe this time. I must have been feeling unwell that day. The anonymous comment on the caramelization of the onions was very wise as well.

As for the consommé, well, I've had very few truly good French Onion soups. Consequently, I'm leery of taking any shortcuts with a proper recipe. Caramelize the onions, use a proper stock/consommé, season it appropriately, add in the toast, and brown the cheese properly. I suspect AB's recipe is quite good, and I've been meaning to try it, but I haven't done so yet. Perhaps this year.