NEW! Google Custom Search

Loading

french onion soup zip

sassman's picture

What would you experts add to beef broth to intensify the flavor?

I made french onion soup from FC #47 last night and it was, well, boring.

I added a few bullion cubes and it helped but I was hoping to get a more flavorful broth.

I used "More Than Gourmet" brand broth labeled as "culinary stock"
but it also says fat free and low calorie.

How about a T of vinegar?

Adele's picture

If your adding bouillon (post #69291, reply #1 of 25)

If your adding bouillon cubes, it's pretty much salt. So maybe you need to salt sooner. Another thing is just finding a beef broth that you like. I've used Better than Bouillon before and liked that, I'm currently using Penzey's. You can always reduce for flavor too. Add a little wine if your into that.

Edit: I don't have the recipe in front of me, but I'm sure the onions were caramelized, did you do this? It should be lovely and rich.

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

Gretchen's picture

I much prefer using my own (post #69291, reply #2 of 25)

I much prefer using my own chicken stock/broth for FOS, but beef would be fine. I think the "zip" needs to come from the onions basically. Did you really COOK them--caramelize them? It is the key to FOS.
As Adele said, bouillion cubes are mostly salt.
How about the red wine--does the recipe call for that?

Now, I made some beef broth this weekend using some chuck neck bones I found. I browned them really well and cooked them in the PC until the meat had ZERO flavor!! It was amazing to taste a piece of meat where all I tasted was the salt I put on it!! That is to say, 4# of meaty bones had given their all.
I concentrated the broth, and to say the least, it was less than whopping in flavor. ANd it did gel even. I used some in some osso buco I made for today. I am not sure I would even use this for FOS--I may "doctor" it some and use it for pho.

Being fat free stock is not really a problem--good in my opinion. I try to make my homemade as "fat free" as possible. I would never use something like the jars of Better than Bouillion for the complete base for FOS--just too much salt, which I OFTEN find when I eat FOS in restaurants.

Gretchen
sassman's picture

In fact the recipe called for (post #69291, reply #3 of 25)

In fact the recipe called for pinot grigio which would have been dryer than the wine I had on hand.
Frankly, white wine doesn't sound right for FOS but neither does chicken broth.
And, next time I'll brown up some beef bones to start with and get some flavor from that.
Thanks for those ideas. J.

Gretchen's picture

We have had a number of (post #69291, reply #4 of 25)

We have had a number of threads about FOS, and really quite a number of "us" use chicken broth--homemade is very rich. Pinot grigio is sort of "ridiculous". Vermouth maybe.
I recommend Julia Child's classic recipe to you--and it does use beef broth.
But since you tried beef, why dismiss chicken out of hand, when someone tells you it is really good. It lends a sort of sweetness that truly compliments the sweetness of the onions.
Of course, any soup as comparatively simple in its ingredients as FOS truly needs "rich" ingredients to be good. But have at it.
For my chicken I simmer whole chicken. It is rich enough.

I will add that anything under an hour for cooking the onions (and Julia's calls for 3#) is undercooked/will lack flavor development and a less than stellar soup.

Gretchen
StevenHB's picture

We've debated chicken vs. (post #69291, reply #5 of 25)

We've debated chicken vs. beef stock in the past. I'm a beef guy.

Regardless of which you prefer; though, I believe that a soup will be without body if you use anything other than homemade stock/broth. This is one of those applications where the real thing is worth it.

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
Glenys's picture

I agree about the stock; it's (post #69291, reply #11 of 25)

I agree about the stock; it's one thing to use canned as a liquid or hydrating component, quite another to have it as the foundation of a dish.  Homeade qualifies here, and I'd go another step further taking it from simple stock to enriched before making the soup.  

butterscotch's picture

You might take a look at the (post #69291, reply #6 of 25)

You might take a look at the FOS recipe in the Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook.  It punches up the flavor with a little Dijon mustard and some cognac.  The finished soup has excellent flavor and doesn't taste like mustard at all.

A way to add some "meaty" flavor without adding meat is to include liquid that dried porcini mushrooms have soaked in. 

suz's picture

Well carmalized onions and a (post #69291, reply #7 of 25)

Well carmalized onions and a hit of Cognac or Dry Sherry that should give you the 'zip' you're looking for.

Gretchen's picture

Yes, forgot the cognac in (post #69291, reply #8 of 25)

Yes, forgot the cognac in Julia's recipe too.

 

Look here, we have a choice of font, bold, italic,and underline!!

Gretchen
Adele's picture

YES!!!!!! (post #69291, reply #9 of 25)

YES!!!!!!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

ACG's picture

Nice.  When do you think they (post #69291, reply #10 of 25)

Nice.  When do you think they will fix all the things that have been complained about, expecialy the issues with "new." lol

StevenHB's picture

At least it's progress. (post #69291, reply #12 of 25)

At least it's progress.

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
Chef Todd Mohr's picture

If you want to see a really (post #69291, reply #13 of 25)

If you want to see a really funny video about making French Onion Soup, go to YouTube, search ChefToddMohr, and find "Cooking Coarse 149 - French Onion Soup".

I interview an onion a la "The Tonight Show".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG6uOQ_l9to

 

Chef Todd.

Chef Todd Mohr Learn to cook like a chef at home http://www.WebCookingClasses.com
kathymcmo's picture

I see you're back peddling (post #69291, reply #18 of 25)

I see you're back peddling your wares. Equally tiresome as the last time. This forum is not a marketing opportunity.

Gretchen's picture

But it would be so PRECiOUS (post #69291, reply #19 of 25)

But it would be so PRECiOUS to actually SEE him doing it, dontcha know.  Tiresomely precious.

Gretchen
ashleyd's picture

He's not selling anything (post #69291, reply #21 of 25)

He's not selling anything major, most of his stuff is free and his youtube  videos are educational and reasonably amusing. So he's sharing his knowledge and that's what we do here, isn't it? I don't see your problem.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

ICDOCEAN1's picture

My favorite Jacque's Onion (post #69291, reply #14 of 25)

My favorite Jacque's Onion Soup Gratinee Lyonnaise:  http://www.kqed.org/w/jacquespepin/winterrecipe3.html

Yield: 6 servings

• 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
• 2 tbsp. corn oil
• 1-1/4 lb. onions, peeled and sliced thin (see onion prep)
• 1/2 lb. Emmenthaler cheese, grated
• 1/2 lb. Gruyere cheese, grated
• 10 c. chicken stock
• 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed, and chopped
• 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
• Salt to taste
• 1 French baguette, cut into 36-48 slices

Preparation

Heat the butter and oil in a saucepan on high heat, add the onions, and sauté for 10-12 minutes until browned.

Mix the grated cheeses together and set aside.

Add the stock and garlic to onions. Boil gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Push the soup through a food mill, and add pepper and salt.

Preheat oven to 400°. Arrange bread slices in one layer on a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Place 6-8 slices in each of 6 12-oz. bowls and arrange bowls on a cookie sheet.

Turn oven up to 425°. Sprinkle 2 tbsp. of cheeses on top of bread and fill bowls to the rim with soup. Sprinkle 1/2 c. of cheeses on top of the soup, making sure it covers the soup and touches the entire inside edge. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is melted and browned. Serve.

Claudine comments...
"Onion soup is a staple in France, and there are about as many different variations for onion soup as there are for meatloaf."

Gretchen's picture

I saw him make this one--and (post #69291, reply #15 of 25)

I saw him make this one--and Julia make hers--on one of their shows.  The cheese was about an inch thick.

AND  THERE is the chicken broth. But as Glenys confirmed, it just has to be a really really good stock to make a really special soup.  Now I think I need to make some more.  I took my last to the beach.

Gretchen
thecooktoo's picture

About every third or fourth (post #69291, reply #16 of 25)

About every third or fourth batch of chicken stock that I make I will roast the raw bones until dark brown, roast the mire poix then slow simmer for at least 8 to 12 hours.  I make about 5 gallon at a time.  Once it has reached the level I want, I strain it, put it back on the stove and concentrate it by cooking down by about half.  That's my "special stock" that I use to make FOS and other very flavorful dishes.

I found a product at TJ's that is wonderful...it's their Concentrated Stocks.  Comes 12 tubes to a box and each tube makes 1 cup.  I have used only the beef stock, but it is wonderful.  ON my last batch of FOS I simply added one tube to my special stock and had a wonderful, dark oniony flavored soup that was just outstanding.

Jim

Gretchen's picture

When I have a roast chicken I (post #69291, reply #17 of 25)

When I have a roast chicken I do the same as you for the stock. REally good.

Thanks for the TJ's rec. I'll go get some for us and the kids.  No TJ's in Denver but a Whole Foods on every corner!!  Well, not really, but not far either.

Gretchen
ICDOCEAN1's picture

I haven't made a chicken or (post #69291, reply #24 of 25)

I haven't made a chicken or beef stock in ages, mainly because the freezer is always full as it is at the present time. 

I would love to take a peek at a few recipes of CTers  favorite stock recipes.  Some time ago (dare not look for it here) there was a Chinese version that took forever but it was really good.  China Moon comes to mind. 

Gretchen's picture

Get a chicken. Simmer. Either (post #69291, reply #25 of 25)

Get a chicken. Simmer. Either simmer it so long that the meat has given everything up or simmer long enough to get some body, and use the meat for something else. 

If you have a roast chicken, brown the carcass a bit in the oven and simmer.  A bit of a browner stock.

Gretchen
Ozark's picture

You want zip? Make this (post #69291, reply #22 of 25)

You want zip? Make this one. http://timeinthekitchen.com/2009/03/fren... Rich, deeply fragrant beef broth with braised shallots, croutons of crusty, chewy baguette and flavorful Emmenthaler cheese.

 

Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

Ozark's picture

You want zip? Make this (post #69291, reply #23 of 25)

You want zip? Make this one. http://timeinthekitchen.com/2009/03/fren... Rich, deeply fragrant beef broth with braised shallots, croutons of crusty, chewy baguette and flavorful Emmenthaler cheese.

 

Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!