Who doesn’t like French Onion Soup? Well I guess there are a few out there but I make it a point to order it at least once when discovering a new restaurant. I usually can rate my experience by the French Onion Soup they serve; it sets the tone, not really difficult but needs to be built with layers of flavor and richness that keeps you dipping for more. Of course you can’t forget the cheese. There are many recipes using different cheeses, traditionally a Swiss cheese is used. I like Swiss and aged cheddar blend.
I decided to write this blog about FOS here in Bay Roberts, NL. Being a service centre for the Baccalieu Trail region of our province, Bay Roberts has no shortage of fast food restaurants. All of these suit the needs of the residents and visitors alike, but when I want a good starter I go to the ones who have a nice well-made bowl of French Onion Soup.
I am going to profile three restaurants who serve it here in town: Jungle Jim’s, Klondyke Steakhouse, and All Star Eatery and will end with my own version.
Firstly, the presentation was impressive; attention to detail outside the bowl was just as prevalent as inside. There was a good ratio of cheese (provolone) and crouton that help balance the flavors. The broth is hearty with caramelized onion deglazed with red wine perfect for a lunch time meal and well worth the visit.
My love affair with Jungle Jim’s French Onion Soup goes back over a decade, the most consistent FOS I have ever tasted. The balance of flavors with an overabundance of flowing cheese makes this soup fun to eat. I have a feeling they use Mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese; (they keep their recipe secret according to their website). Jungle Jim’s may be a chain restaurant by you can always get reliable food in a timely manner.
All Star Eatery
This new restaurant in Bay Roberts serves up a tasty soup in a acceptable amount of time. It is a lighter soup then our friends down the road (My wife likes a lighter soup as opposed to me who appreciates deeper flavors) the ratio of cheese and crouton was good and I would certainly have it again.
All of these restaurants have very tasty FOS and I would recommend three of them if you are visiting or looking to start a dining experience here in Bay Roberts. I have my favorite but will keep that a secret, let the pictures guide you!!
I mentioned in the beginning of this blog that I will also submit my FOS creation as well as a loose recipe as I make changes or add to it every time I make it; I guess the rule of thumb is to have fun with it.
Delaney’s French Onion Soup
This particular french onion soup was made this week with plenty of substitutions including vegetable broth, some rosemary with cheddar and Swiss cheese. The flavor was very rich but if I was making it again I would not go back to the cheddar (even though I loved the flavor it gave the soup) as it made the presentation a tad oily.
Delaney’s FOS Recipe (Loosely)
2 Large onions
2 tbsp. butter
2 litres vegetable stock
½ cup red wine
1 tbsp. mustard
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. granulated garlic
½ cup Swiss or favorite cheese
1 cup croutons or baguette slices toasted
salt and pepper to taste
I used my black iron bake pot, add onions, butter, S and P over medium heat, cook slowly (turning back heat as the heat builds) until onions are caramelized (2-3 hours depending how patient you are). De-glaze the pot with wine, (inhale the aromas as it will be amazing!!) add rosemary, garlic, mustard, cook the alcohol for 5-10 min then add stock, stir and let simmer till the flavors combine. Sample with a glass of wine and when happy with the depth of flavor and heat, place in oven proof bowls add crouton and cheese till level with the rim and bake till bubbling slightly (I use the broiler to brown the cheese, I also recommend a cookie sheet under the soup bowls in case of spillage) I hope you enjoy!!