So I have been curious if I could just use one or two types of onions in the soup, instead of five, and still have it taste the same. I also wondered if I could get away with using a cheaper but similar cheese and have it still taste great. So today, I tried it! I will let you know just how it turned out too! :)
1. So instead of the five types of onions Panera's recipe calls for, I used about 2 lbs. of Yellow Onions and 2 lbs. of White Onions. I did everything else the same for the soup recipe. I was pleased to find it still tastes like Panera's! I suppose there might be a subtle disctinction but I would probably only be able to notice the difference if I had a side by side taste test. So it's a relief that I only have to buy two types of onions to make a great French Onion Soup at home. (I got them on sale at King Soopers and it was only about $4 all together for all those onions! So it's significantly cheaper than getting 5 varieties!)
2. I had a hard time trying this because the one thing I love the most about Panera's French Onion Soup is that they don't have ridiculous amounts of stringy cheese on top. In fact, they have just enough cheese on top and it's really not even stringy at all. I noticed that when I was making the croutons last time and put the cheese on them the "Gruyere" smelled and tasted a lot like regular Swiss cheese as we know it. So, I thought I would try the croutons with Swiss instead of Gruyere. I was again pleasantly surprised at the end result. It didn't have as strong of a flavor of the cheese and with the Gruyere but, since Swiss is so much cheaper I am pretty sure I will always use Swiss from now on!
Just thought I would update you on those two things! Have fun in the kitchen, till next time! :)