French Onion Soup

Joined Jun 10, 2008
I have two recipes for French Onion Soup that have two different techniques and I was wondering if anyone can tell me which one is correct.One says to brown the onions in the pan and then de-glaze them. The other says to slowly cook them in their own juices being careful not to let them brown. Which one is correct?
Joined Feb 13, 2008
There are a lot of right ways to make onion soup, and no single one of them is correct or definitive.

You get maximum sweetness if you cook the onions, for a long time over a very low flame.  To me, color is not an issue as it's amply supplied by the broth.  But de gustibus and all that.

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Joined Apr 3, 2008
I like to slowly cook them in their own juice till they are nice and soft and then brown them at the end by turning up the heat a bit.
Joined Apr 3, 2010
As BDL states there is no right or wrong way. I like to use Vadalia sweet onions home , or a mix of 3 varieties of onions..
Joined Nov 5, 2007
I too like to cook the onions slowly over low heat.  It seems to do the best job of removing the sulfur compounds, maximizing the sweetness while still retaining the essence of onion.

One of my favorite versions is made by melting butter over low heat in a heavy skillet.  Add a layer of french cut onions [ I think there is a more accurate term for it which escapes me at the moment ] sprinkle on a heavy pinch of kosher salt.  More onions, more salt, until all the onions are in.  Cover and ignore for an hour.  Stir it up, cover and ignore for another hour.

Remove the cover, turn up the heat to medium high and pour in about a cup of a dry white wine.  Reduce for 5, maybe 10 minutes.  You should end up with a thick, opaque syrup.  Add enough broth to make it as soupy as you desire, chicken or beef, depending on your mood that day and a healthy dash of worcestershire sauce or perhaps picka-peppa if you have it on hand.

I really should make a batch giving more precise measurements and some pictures.  Yep, RealSoonNow.

Joined Feb 13, 2008
Informal name for "French cut onions" is "Lyonnaise."  It can also be used as a verb.  For instance, "Lyonnaise a number one pan of onions and don't take all night."

How to:

Cut the onion in half from stem to top.  Trim off the stem and top. Peel off the paper.  Set one half on your board, cut side down.  Start cutting very thin slices fronm end to end.  Roll the onion a quarter turn onto the new cut side, every so often, so you don't have to lift the knife too high.

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