Few soups are as decadent as a well-made onion soup, but it seems that you can only enjoy it in fine-dining French restaurants, well not anymore.
You need skill to make a proper bowl of onion soup, but as you’re about to find out, you can master it and cook it for your loved ones at home.
Why Do We Love Onion Soup So Much?
A good onion soup is creamy and velvety, yet full of intensity. Onions, as the main ingredient, integrate with other flavors and textures, resulting in something bigger than the sum of its parts.
As highbrowed as in might seem, the original onion soups, cooked since Roman times, were a convenient and inexpensive way to make a hearty meal with ordinary ingredients.
The French refined it, and the dish became a favorite with the royal court. The onion soup soon spread throughout the world, and although it has been a critical item in some of the most prestigious menus for centuries, it’s often not considered as a home-cooked meal.
Types of Onions You Need to Know
To understand this hearty, oniony broth, you must first understand these starchy bulbs.
Sweet Onions - A lot of different onions enter this category, and they’re called sweet, not literally for their sweetness but for their lack of sulfur and mild taste; this means they’re not as pungent as other onions making them perfect for eating raw in salads.
Yellow Onions - A versatile onion with an intense flavor and lots of starchy goodness. This means they’re great for caramelizing and for flavoring stews and pies.
Red Onions - Pungent and piquant, red onions are popular because they add color to salads and sandwiches, but their peppery, spicy taste makes them not for everyone.
White Onions - White onions are reasonably neutral, they have more sulfur than yellow varieties but not as much as red ones. Fresh when eaten raw, they also have versatility in the kitchen.
Shallots - While not precisely onions, shallots belong in the same allium family. Slightly sweet and not very sulfury, they’re often used in classic European dishes. Although sometimes interchangeable with other onions, they’re more aromatic and have a garlic taste.
Choosing Your Onions
The quality of the ingredients makes the dish, and that applies for onions too. Read the following advice to make sure you always buy the best.
- When sourcing onions, make sure the skin is unpierced, flaky, and shiny.
- Avoid onions with humid spots or bruises.
- Make sure the top is dry and not sprouting.
- Onions should be dry, and never humid or mushy.
- An onion should not be too light, it takes practice to assess a good onion by weight, but you can quickly tell if an onion is older than the rest.
5 Ways to Cook Onions
One of the most versatile and universal ingredients, onions can shine in many dishes. These are our favorites.
Blooming onions battered and deep-fried are fabulous snacks you can enjoy with your favorite dip.
Pickled onions are excellent topping and can serve as tangy appetizers. Pearl onions are especially useful to make Gibson martinis.
Flammkuchen or Tarte Flambe is a German-French classic. Flatbread topped with caramelized onions, fresh cheese, and cream is pizza’s refined cousin.
Liver and onions are inseparable partners. Onions add juiciness and sweetness to the otherwise metallic, iron-flavored liver.
Then there’s the extraordinary onion soup but will talk more about it below.
What to Serve with Onion Soup?
The onion soup is a perfect starter, but it can well be the star of any meal. For lunch, late supper, or dinner, this hearty soup always delivers.
Stop wondering about what to serve with onion soup, if there’s one thing you can’t forget is serving it with a soft, pearly-white or whole-grain, artisanal loaf of bread.
You’ll want to scoop the last drop of delicious soup with a torn piece of wholesome bread.
For full video lesson on how to cook Caramelized Yellow Onion Soup visit Björn Frantzén's cooking class. Here you will find a tone of other delicious recipies that will add to your cooking skills
Recipe: Perfect Caramelized Yellow Onion Soup
Yellow onions 600 gr
Canola oil 1,5 tbsp
Butter 2 tbsp
White wine 100 ml
Milk 250 ml
Cream 200 ml
Salt 2 tsp
Lemon juice 1 tbsp
1. Peel and slice the onions.
2. Sauté the onions in oil and stir from time to time. Important to scrape the bottom all the time to get the caramelized bits and pieces up, also, so it doesn’t burn in the bottom of the pan.
3. Continue to cook until golden brown and caramelized. Add the butter and let it caramelize as well. Remove excess fat.
4. Add the wine and simmer until the onions have absorbed all the wine.
6. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Blend smooth. Strain and cool down.