The fifth week theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs, featuring chef Giada De Laurentiis, was Out of Italy, so I chose Giada's Onion Soup with Fontina and Thyme recipe. You can find the recipe here.
The first thing to know is that I am a French Onion Soup nut. I almost always order it when I go out to eat, I am very picky about finding really good FOS, and I have made more varieties/recipes/kinds of FOS than probably almost anyone you know personally, unless you know a lot of chefs.
When it came time for this week's theme, I hadn't a clue what I would choose, but I saw that one of the other members chose this soup and I lost all thoughts of doing anything else. Why would I not want to make it so that I could taste and compare it to all the others I have tried? You can see from the recipe, if you have clicked over on it already, that it is simple, requires only a few ingredients, and pretty much follows your typical French Onion Soup recipe.
How did it stack up with my favorites? Hmmm...well, if one is just sitting down to a bowl of it, it was good. If one is going to compare it with others when deciding if one will make it again, the answer would be "no." It wasn't bad, it just wasn't the caliber of FOS that I have been accustomed to making/eating. The recipe calls for Vidalia onions, which, are just too sweet for me after they cook down a little...sweetness not something I value highly in a soup. The seasonings of thyme, salt, pepper, a little olive oil, were just so-so. The bread cubes were okay, but I prefer mine toasted a little to keep them from getting really soggy, not a fan of wet bread. The cheese of choice in this recipe was Fontina, which I did not think stood up well to my usual favorite, Gruyere, which has a slightly nutty flavor and is a strong addition to the flavorings. The Fontina is a little bland in this regard.
All in all, it just did not have the kick or depth of flavor that I love in a really good French Onion Soup. I am happy I made it, though, just to taste and see, and none of it went to waste...it just wasn't a Top Ten for me.
The next week's theme is Kid at Heart, come join in, just leave your link at the I Heart Cooking Clubs site.