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Nov 13, 2010 07:39 AM

French Onion Soup Bowls...?

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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  1. 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

      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. 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

        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. 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

          I use the AC soup ramekin dishes. 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

            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

              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. 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. 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. :-)