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Classic/Update: French Onion Soup

Classic French Onion Soup

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by Anne Willan and Chris Santos
from Fine Cooking #101, pp. 64-67

The bistro classic squares off against a modern upstart. Which version will you choose? Vote for your favorite.

The Classic

This classic version is made with homemade beef broth and caramelized onions, and topped with oozing Gruyère cheese. Aged Gruyère is is key to getting the bubbling crust because it’s rich, smooth, and melts easily. Before soupe àl’oignon made it to the bistros of Lyon and Paris, its likely origins were in a simple peasant meal of onions, broth, and stale bread. Another secret to this classic are the abundance of flavorful yellow onions cooked until deep brown. In Paris, onion soup is eaten in the wee hours of the morning after a night on the town and its presence on breakfast menus confirms its status as a cure for the common hangover.

CooksClub Exclusive: Watch a step-by-step video of the classic French Onion Soup being made.


Classic French Onion Soup
  Classic French Onion Soup
The Update

It’s a whimsical idea that resembles Chinese soup dumplings more than it does any onion soup we’ve ever had. It’s inspired by traditional Chinese soup dumplings and features onion soup wrapped inside a purse-like dumpling. To make it easier to contain the soup inside the dumplings, the soup is frozen and then cut into small pieces. The dumplings are skewered with croutons, which stand in for the expected slice of bread. They are quickly deep-fried before the dish is topped with cheese and finished in the oven, in a nod to tradition.

French Onion Soup Dumplings
  French Onion Soup Dumplings



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  • User avater
    leeor_net | 09/24/2009

    I can't vote for either of these recipes.

    The classic entry is not a classic recipe as it does not include Burgandy, an important part of a the classic French Onion Soup. While good, it's not great.

    On the other hand, while cute, the soup dumplings falls far short of the experience of a truly great French Onion Soup. The ingredients list is just right but wonton's just don't provide the same experience is a really good French Bread and leaves much to be desired.

    So good recipes and an interesting take on a classic but ultimately neither give the experience of a truly great French Onion Soup.

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