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Best onions for onion soup?

Kaisgraham Sep 21, 2007 03:14 PM

I have a wonderful sounding recipe for onion soup but it doesn't state what kind of onions to use. What are the BEST onions to use in onion soup? I live in Southern California and have access to everything. Thanks!

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  1. k
    Kelli2006 RE: Kaisgraham Sep 21, 2007 04:12 PM

    I tend to use standard yellow onions. Vidalia's /Texas 1015's are nice, but you may find they are overly sweet. I don't like to use red or whites onions but they will work in a pinch.

    The secret to great onion soup is a lot of onions (1/2+ lb per person) and taking the time to caramelize them.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Kelli2006
      Quine RE: Kelli2006 Sep 21, 2007 04:18 PM

      I agree, I use the standard yellow ones myself and pick huge ones, easier to slice. Yeap the long slow browning to get that rich caramelizing is key.

      And use a good stock too. Sad to take so much trouble in doing the onions to ruin it with bad stock.

      1. re: Kelli2006
        IndyGirl RE: Kelli2006 Sep 22, 2007 11:46 AM

        AGreed on the lots of onions and the caramelization. I use red, white and yellow, though. About an even mix, or more of one kind if I need to use some up!

      2. c
        chazzerking RE: Kaisgraham Sep 21, 2007 04:30 PM

        Vidalias, Mauis, Walla Wallas and all the other speciality onions lose almost all of their sweetness differential when cooked. there's no need to pay the extra fare for them. regular yellows are just as good. just cook them till they're good and brown and use good stock.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chazzerking
          cmkdvs RE: chazzerking Sep 21, 2007 09:20 PM

          We used to grow Walla-Wallas and found them a disaster in onion soup: by the time you caramelized a lot of them the results were so sweet as to be unpalatable. I'd definitely go with regular yellow onions.

        2. m
          MikeG RE: Kaisgraham Sep 21, 2007 05:55 PM

          I prefer large whites, Spanish, or the largest yellows I can find. Red/purple onions sounds weird - between the pigments and the texture, I just don't think so. If I have them, I throw in a fair, if small, proportion of shallots, though not until the onions have started to soften - they're drier and tend to brown-in-a-bad-way

          1. p
            Pampatz RE: Kaisgraham Sep 21, 2007 07:22 PM

            Large, yellow onions. Maybe add one sweet onion to the mix. Cook low and slow in a mix of butter and olive oil.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Pampatz
              Vikzen RE: Pampatz Sep 21, 2007 09:46 PM

              Another vote for regular large yellow onions. Of course, never use red/purple onions in soup. Once in a pinch I called a neighbor for an onion - for soup (though not onion soup). When I was offered red and hesitated, I was met with disbelief. Would anyone ever use a red onion for any kind of soup?

            2. C. Hamster RE: Kaisgraham Sep 22, 2007 07:14 AM

              Large yellow or Spanish onions work the best, IMO.

              1 Reply
              1. re: C. Hamster
                monavano RE: C. Hamster Sep 22, 2007 10:35 AM

                I agree. I think there's a growing concensus here. ;-)

              2. mschow RE: Kaisgraham Sep 22, 2007 11:05 AM

                I always use large yellow onions. I've tried all different types, and find they are the best for onion soup. I slice them, add the heaping mounds of slices into the pot with butter. put a lid on it, and let them sweat for at least 45 minutes. Then turn up the heat, unlid, and let them carmelize. Yum. Love onion soup!

                1. Karl S RE: Kaisgraham Sep 22, 2007 11:59 AM

                  Red and/or yellow storage onions (I prefer red). Never sweet non-storage onions, which are really for eating raw rather than cooking. Courtesy of a technique tip from Alton Brown, by far the easiest way to prepare them is in a large rectangular non-stick electric skillet - you get far more control and caramelization without scorching.

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