Choosing the Best Onions and Cheese for an Onion Soup Recipe
When you learn how to make French onion soup, you will discover there are many types of onion soup recipes to choose from. Some use red onions, some use white onions, and some even use dried onion flakes. There are also different cheeses you can use.
Traditional French onion soup is made with homemade beef broth, fresh onions, French bread, and Gruyere cheese but you can adapt this recipe if you prefer to use different ingredients or if some of them are unavailable where you are.
Types of French Onion Soup Onions
Onions are white, yellow, or red and they are harvested when the shoots have died. Onions harvested in the spring or summer are the sweetest but they do not keep as long as winter onions. The most common sweet onion is the Vidalia onion. Other sweet onions, which you can use to make French onion soup, are Walla Walla, Spring Sweet, and Sweet Imperial.
You can get storage onions all year round and these include Spanish onions, shallots and red onions. These are usually yellow but can be green, red, or white. These contain less water and sugar than spring onions, which makes them great for using in dishes, which have long cooking times.
How to Choose the Best Onions
Select onions, which are dry and firm with a shiny outer skin. A strong smell might indicate rotting so do not choose any onions which smell overly strong. A fresh onion should have a mild smell. Dark spots on onions can indicate mold. If you are going to use sweet onions, use them within a couple of days of buying them.
How to Store Onions
Store your onions for French onion soup or other onion soup recipes in a cool place, which is open to the air. A basket in your pantry is a good place. Onions keep for a long time but do not put them in your refrigerator because everything will smell of onions after a few hours! You can keep green onions in the refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag.
Choosing a French Onion Soup Cheese
Gruyere, which is a Swiss cheese, is traditionally used in a French onion soup recipe but you can also get French Gruyere, which is made on the other side of the border. French Gruyere is very similar to Swiss Gruyere but it has small holes whereas Swiss Gruyere does not have holes in it.
You can get Gruyere cheese all year round at most cheese stores and grocery stores. Look for the Le Gruyere Switzerland AOC name and label on the packaging if you want to use authentic Swiss Gruyere. This mark of quality is a guarantee that the cheese was made using the traditional methods. Gruyere keeps well in the refrigerator for several weeks.
Gruyere is sharp, full flavored, nutty cheese and it melts well. It is a traditional ingredient in fondue, croque monsieur and, of course, French onion soup. It also bakes well and Gruyere is used in gratins, quiches, and soufflés.
If you want to know how to make French onion soup like a pro, it does help to know about the different kinds of onions and Gruyere cheese available but you can use a different cheese if you cannot get Gruyere or you do not like the flavor.
Every variety of onion has its good points and you can use your favorite onions in an onion soup recipe. Vidalia onions, which are sweet and juicy, give a wonderful sweetness to French onion soup. Yellow and white onions have a pure, strong flavor and red onions have a unique piquancy. You can use one kind of onions in a French onion soup recipe or even blend a couple of them. As long as you use good quality onions, you should have a great onion soup result.
This sweet, juicy onion is ideal for making a French onion soup recipe. The mild climate of southeast Georgia and low sulfur soil are what makes these onions sweet instead of hot. Add some sherry or wine to complement the sweet flavor and the sharp tang of your French onion soup cheese topping will provide an amazing contrast. Vidalia onions are widely available in the springtime and are a great ingredient for onion soup.
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