I’ve had some discussions among friends about the type of broth to use in French Onion Soup. Some swear by chicken broth (these are the same friends that use chicken broth in every soup), others say that vegetable broth is king, but the traditional French Onion Soup is made with beef broth.
Now, it can be challenging to finding the ingredients to making your own beef stock. Many times the beef bones are just too lean and do not have enough meat attached to them. The result is a broth lacking flavor. So what is an at home chef to do? Simple, break out the Organic Better Than Bouillon! It really is a great alternative to making the broth from scratch. This particular food product might be the closest thing to a great tasting broth without making it from scratch. It’s sold in all of the basic flavors, chicken, beef, vegetable, turkey, and mushroom. Yes, turkey!!
A word about onions
Yum! Ok, so more than a few words about onions… There are many different onions out there to use for soup, lots of people use Spanish Onions (yellow onions), which are very tasty, but I prefer to use Sweet Onions. Combining the Sweet Onion with the garlic creates a really great flavor profile.
Sweet Onions have a bit more water in them and less sulfuric acid, so they are a little easier to digest compared to Spanish Onions. The good thing is there is only one bad onion and that’s a rotten onion! Enjoy both varieties, separately or together in the soup.
Preparing for dinner guests
- Make the soup in advance! This soup will last in the refrigerator for a week (7 days). You can also freeze it and keep it for two months. I suggest cooling the soup on the counter in a bath of ice water and stir occasionally (to disperse the heat). This will cool the soup quickly and is the proper way to keep your food safe. I store my soup in freezer bags, then lay it flat in the freezer, once frozen you can stack it in the freezer and save space.
- If your soup is frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
- The morning of the party, cut the baguette into as many servings as you need and toast the bread on a cookie sheet in the oven (monitor it closely and make sure to toast both sides). Allow the bread to cool, then wrap in plastic wrap or place in a large seal-able container.
- Heat the soup on the stove-top over medium-low heat or individually in the microwave. The choice between the stove-top vs the microwave really comes down to the number of bowls or crocks you are serving. For 2 or 3 servings, the microwave might be the best route, but for 4 or more consider using the stove-top.
- Use a cookie sheet and place a few of the crocks topped with cheese and place in the oven. Ensure that hot soup goes into the crocks before melting the cheese will help ensure that you have a good amount of time before the soup cools in the crocks. Serving soup hot is ideal.