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The Type Of Broth You Need For Traditional French Onion Soup

bowl of French onion soup
bowl of French onion soup - Charles Brutlag/Shutterstock

There are only a few key ingredients needed for a traditional French onion soup. One of them is in the name: onions. For centuries, onions were affordable, plentiful, and tasty, thus a popular ingredient for the poor to turn into meals, stretching it even further with water to become soup. The broiled cheese topping, believe it or not, is a more recent addition, and its popularity is attributed to how it was served in eateries around the famous Parisian market Les Halles in the 19th century.

So, what really gives the soup its body and flavor? That's down to the broth itself. And when onion soup broke ranks over time and became favored by the rich and royal, it was beef broth that was added to give deep substance to this already-popular dish. While modern-day vegetarians could, of course, layer the flavors of rich vegetable stock to make a perfectly tasty vegetarian version of the soup, it is beef broth that is common and traditional for the backbone of this beloved dish.

Read more: French Cooking Tricks You Need In Your Life

Making The Best Beef Stock Possible

Beef broth ladled into pot
Beef broth ladled into pot - Julia Ahanova/Shutterstock

Sure, you could save time and buy a box of the best beef broth from the grocery store, while making sure that the first ingredient listed is beef stock. You could even incorporate any number of ingredients that will kick the flavor of boxed stock up a notch. That said, since it is one of the primary sources of flavor in a French onion soup, it is worth making beef broth from scratch to give your soup the best taste possible.Beef broths and stocks are notorious for taking a long time to cook properly and render their flavor out. Preparing it in a pressure cooker will certainly save time, but again, if you are making your own stock, you might as well go all out by taking it low and slow. This particular recipe for homemade beef stock calls for you to pull out all the stops. Its flavor is coaxed out at every step, from roasting both beef bones and meat to simmering the liquid over a gentle heat, cooling the stock to remove the fat, and straining the stock carefully to remove debris. Each of these steps is deliberate, and many of the steps take hours each to produce the best, most flavorful broth possible.

Putting Together A French Onion Soup

Caramelized onions in a pan
Caramelized onions in a pan - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Now that you have prepared a hearty beef broth, it is time to consider the other components of French onion soup. Deeply caramelized onions are the next important thing, and there are several ways to take caramelized onions up a notch, from using the most flavorful onions to using different fats to seasoning the onions generously and appropriately.

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As for the topping, crusty bread and broiled cheese are now an integral part of French onion soup, so make sure to use good bread and splurge on some Gruyere for an authentic taste. There are ways to kick up the flavor even more — for example, bay leaves can fix a bland French onion soup in a pinch, and Julia Child adds a splash of brandy to her version of the dish without cooking off the alcohol, giving the soup a boozy bite. With all these important tips, just remember to avoid these mistakes when making your own!

Read the original article on Daily Meal