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Jan 29, 2013 06:21 PM

Sometimes it's the little things that impress, new twist on onion soup.

As I write this I just enjoyed an onion soup at a local family restaurant I've been to hundred of times over the years. I'm not sure if this is a new twist or if I've never ordered French Onion Soup here before but to my delight they served it with a slight twist I found absolutely delightful. Baked on top of the cheese was a lump of French's Fried Onions (not sure if actually French's but that's as close as I can explain) I've never seen this done before. The crunch was delightful baked into the gooey cheese!

I've never seen French Onion prepared this way and truly enjoyed it, too bad the soup itself wasn't that great.

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  1. Two ways of looking at this I guess. You figured out the gorgeous tasting top. Now all you have to do is serve it up with a great onion soup base at home. Right?

    1 Reply
    1. re: miss_belle

      Exactly....... excitement soon turned to sadness when I actually tasted the soup. But still I liked the little twist which is so simple but yet never seen or thought of before so I will certainly be doing this next time I make it at home.

    2. Sounds delicious. For another topping: the other night I had a creamy mushroom soup at a local restaurant, which was topped with a teaspoon-size heap of tiny, tiny crispy shoestring potatoes - so tiny they must have been made with a lemon zester.

      1. Sounds interesting. Was the traditional toasted bread still under the cheese?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Midknight

          Yes it was....of course or else the cheese would sink to the bottom of the soup along with the crispy onions that was baked in it. I always get a laugh out of the people who would order onion soup without the bread then complain when the cheese wasn't magically floating on top when they got their order.

        2. A little OT... on those "French's" onions! Was watching Pioneer Woman on Saturday and she made them from scratch. Looked simple enough, so I gave them a try. One medium onion, VERY thinly sliced (used inexpensive mandolin). Separated rings soaked in buttermilk... didn't actually have any buttermilk, so made my own with a few TBSPs vinegar in whole milk. I soaked overnight, but don't remember time being an important factor. I poured into strainer to get as much buttermilk off as possible. Thoroughly tossed in well seasoned flour and well shaken to remove as much as possible. Maybe 2 inches of oil in Dutch oven... fried till nice and brown... WATCH cuz can get dark really quickly.

          ONE onion and a little bit of time and a MOUND of crispy onions that are pretty addictive.

          5 Replies
          1. re: kseiverd

            I've used the same method repeatedly with fantastic results. As you say, you must watch them as they fry. Much better than French's. I've never done an overnight/day-long soak, though.

            1. re: MonMauler

              How would you store these, and how long would they keep? This question is purely theoretical, of course, since this is sort of thing I usually scarf down as soon as it's done and then try to figure out something else to use for everyone else instead.

              1. re: helou

                Yeah, that's a hypothetical question for me because they all get used and the stragglers get eaten. I can't imagine they'd keep well or long, though. It's a fresh-fried product. I can never keep those without losing the original crispy crunchiness.

                1. re: MonMauler

                  I've made these a few times, but they never got to the final dish...Mr. Pine and I ate up every smidgen as they cooked!

            2. re: kseiverd

              Since we have a sub-thread going here I will tell you this much. You take these type of fried onions.....and you pile them high on top of a horse radish crusted prime rib! OMG now your talking. I use to serve that as my "cowboy rib eye".

            3. Where we are, and in New York (and who knows, maybe elsewhere) restaurants are beginning to rely on "frizzled" onions of this type to put on burgers, spinach salad, sandwiches and the like.

              It's good and it's even better if you make your own rather than rely on the greasy canned product.

              It's too bad the OP was disappointed with the soup.

              If I were in one of my hyper-sarcastic moods I'd return to the restaurant, compliment them on the treatment of the onion/cheese/crouton, but then hand them a package of ox-tails from the butcher and say "here, now try these in the soup!"

              7 Replies
              1. re: shaogo

                This is a local place...nothing fancy a place with a grill behind the bar and a decent steak that I will stop into a couple times a month when working late and wanting a decent bite to eat.

                When the put the soup down in front of me I actually complimented it to the bartender and asked them if that was something new they started doing because I hadn't ever seen it before. He said they have been doing it as long as he's been I assumed I just never noticed. Once I took the first spoonful I did want to mention the soup sucked but felt like a hypocrite after just admiring the presentation etc. While the soup wasn't "good" it also wasn't bad tasting just not what I would say was a good rendition of onion soup. To gravy like than thick.

                1. re: jrvedivici

                  I love a good French Onion Soup, but have never mastered that rich, deep broth. If someone could post a tried & true, or the secret to the broth, then I could make the yummy "French" onions & cheese. And slurp away on a bowl along with a glass (or two) of wine.

                  1. re: chloebell

                    I think the richness of the broth comes from really caramelizing the hell out of a big load o' onions. I caramelize my sugared and spiced onions for around an hour.

                    Also, it doesn't hurt to finish your broth with a dollop of brandy or vermouth.

                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                      I took most of an afternoon in deeply caramelizing the onions, roux, then sllllllooowly adding the broth. I've done it with brandy, but never vermouth--thanks for the idea!

                    2. re: chloebell

                      I made this recipe and my husband flipped over it. It is very rich tasting.



                      1. re: chloebell

                        The secret, such as it is is to make your own broth. I use a combo of chicken stock and beef stock in mine, and both are made using roasted from scratch bones. I don't know any other way to get that rich depth of flavor.

                        1. re: JonParker

                          I absolutely agree on the broth. I roast the bones and vegetables until they are quite dark, and it really comes through in the broth. Also, I finish it with Sherry. As regards cheeses, I like Gruyere.