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French Onion Soup Bowls...?

FishTales Nov 13, 2010 07:39 AM

Soup season's rolling in & we're going to attempt French Onion Soup for the first time. We live in a fairly small town so can't find any broilerproof bowls locally. I've checked through this board & poked around online but, without actually handling them, I can't tell which bowl is best.

16 ounces seems to be the best size. Apparently long handles tend to break &/or are too stubby to be useful, so 'ears' seem best. Who's had hands-on experience with a bowl that works well? Which brand is it?? Thanks.


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    iyc_nyc RE: FishTales Nov 13, 2010 07:42 AM

    Pillivuyt or Apilco porcelain lions head bowls -- you can find Apilco at WS or both at Bridgekitchen.

    I haven't broiled in them but have baked with no problem.

    1 Reply
    1. re: iyc_nyc
      iyc_nyc RE: iyc_nyc Nov 13, 2010 12:47 PM

      Just saw bridgekitchenware has the apilco for a dirt cheap price -- I tk they are 'restaurant quality' thought, meaning there might be surface blemishes, etc.

    2. z
      ZeroSignal RE: FishTales Nov 13, 2010 08:04 AM

      Hall China #476 commercial ones are top notch.Le Creuset actually has a set with handles that arent that bad.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ZeroSignal
        mikie RE: ZeroSignal Nov 13, 2010 12:37 PM

        I'll second the Hall China, can't remember the number I bought though. I got them from Wasserstrom, restaurant supply on line, sold by the dozen but so much less expensive than Pillivuyt of Apilco. I got the bright white to match our Apilco dishes a little better than the regular white. These have the traditional "pot belly" look with ears on each side. Hall China is located in Ohio if I remember correctly. These worked fantistically well and were not expensive. Also they come in several different sizes, so you can pick a size that fits your needs. They also come in that brown color, as well as brown with the goldisih rim. I highly recommend them for French Onion soup.

        While on the subject of French Onion soup, I use the recipe from the Juila Childs French Cooking book, it's the best French Onion soup I've ever had, and I get it every chance I get when we go out to eat, so I've tasted quite a few versions. We tried to make it at home before and it never turned out anywhere near this good.

      2. f
        FishTales RE: FishTales Nov 13, 2010 01:40 PM

        Thanks to everyone for the quick & useful ideas, much appreciated.

        I doubt we could buy a bowl of French Onion Soup within 3 hours of here... & note I didn't specify a bowl of *good* FOS! When we travel we enjoy restaurants but try to taste whatever's local, & we end up in central or south America more than Europe. Thus it's time to try whomping up a batch or three. Thanks for suggesting Child's recipe, too.


        3 Replies
        1. re: FishTales
          wvgardener RE: FishTales Nov 14, 2010 10:15 AM

          I use the AC soup ramekin dishes. http://www.cutleryandmore.com/allclad... They come two to a package and are expensive, but for the two of us, they're perfect. No worries with the broiling the bread and cheese. Wish they were less expensive as I'd like more. Hey, Santa . . .

          Another excellent recipe is from Cook's Illustrated. It takes a long time because the onions are carmelized in the oven, but there's less risk of burning that way.

          1. re: wvgardener
            FishTales RE: wvgardener Nov 15, 2010 02:39 PM

            Stainless steel, never occurred to me to check those. Someone on the Home Cooking board had mentioned the CI method of carmelizing onions but I hadn't thought to look for their recipe til you mentioned it. Thanks.


            1. re: wvgardener
              iyc_nyc RE: wvgardener Dec 20, 2010 04:41 PM

              Recently saw the All-Clad in person and they are absolutely adorable -- much better in real life than in the picture. Not sure you're going for adorable, but they also appear high quality and hefty and very well priced relative to other All Clad goods.

              Don't think they're clad with aluminum (i.e., I think they're solid SS) and they're made in China, if that matters to you.

          2. w
            wvgardener RE: FishTales Nov 16, 2010 10:09 AM

            Has anyone had experience with the set of four porcelain soup bowls with double handles at W-S? They look like they would work well. Thanks.


            1. Cynthia B RE: FishTales Dec 19, 2010 05:23 PM

              I love the Le Creuset crocks. Mine are the chestnut color which I think looks a little more traditional. Not sure if they carry this color anymore. Picture is attached. I also have a yummy recipe if anybody would like it. :-)

              1. The Chowhound Team RE: FishTales Dec 19, 2010 07:24 PM

                Just a reminder to post all recipes on the Home Cooking Board - thanks!

                1 Reply
                1. re: The Chowhound Team
                  Cynthia B RE: The Chowhound Team Dec 20, 2010 10:42 PM

                  Sorry about that - thanks for letting me know.

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                  FishTales RE: ziggylu Dec 20, 2010 03:39 PM

                  Well! Stop looking at the thread for a little while & more replies pop up. Thanks to all.

                  > I had some Emile Henry Lion's Heads I really liked. Unfortunately two were broken...

                  I'm not sure how to phrase this so please bear with. Did they simply die a natural death & fall apart, or was it more a human-caused thing? Those are what I've been leaning toward.


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: FishTales
                    ziggylu RE: FishTales Dec 20, 2010 04:36 PM

                    Definitely human caused! LOL We took them to my parent's house to make some soup and the bag they were dropped in got dropped on the tile from about 4 feet high! Two of them broke. Considering the rest didn't break...it's actually a testimony to their strength! LOL

                    1. re: ziggylu
                      FishTales RE: ziggylu Dec 20, 2010 06:30 PM

                      I was visiting good friends once & broke one of their handmade mugs. How do you replace a one-of-a-kind?! I felt really bad, but one of them said, 'Pottery is finite life' & that's sometimes way too true.

                      Thanks for your quick reply, much appreciated.


                  2. marsprincess RE: FishTales Dec 20, 2010 07:44 AM

                    I love to make French Onion Soup in the winter but don't really want to invest in expensive bowls as my flat is already crammed to capacity (the only thing I really miss about the States is the SPACE so readily available).

                    I have found my cheap IKEA ceramic bowls do the trick fine. I worry every time that they will crack under the broiler, but so far so good.... fingers crossed!

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