Soup season is basically here so I figured I'd kick things off with a simple question. Just yesterday I was touting my success cheering for the Cubs on days I eat Lobster Bisque:
But then a lot of people came back with questions:
Hey Carl what about French Onion?
Hey Carl Lobster Bisque is for pussies
Hey Carl go fuck yourself
It can be exhausting but ultimately this is my profession. I'm here to get in the middle of the heavy hitters and right now the title fight is French Onion vs. Lobster Bisque. Call me Mills Lane.Lobster bisque is tough because it's just not that available. You gotta be at a nice steak house or seafood faring restaurant. Ideally you're on the northeast coast but really if you see the Supreme Lobster trucks around Chicago then you know there's high fucking quality all over the place. So it's not impossible to get a good cup. I'm just saying we're not talking about Chicken & Wild Rice here. LB is definitely a delicacy in the soup community. That's probably because the main ingredient is fucking LOBSTER. The core ingredients are way more complex.
French Onion? All you need is a fair amount of time, beef stock, an open flame and a whole onion. Patient Caramelization is the name of that game, provided you have the right gruyere and a decent french loaf. This is where you want to start leaning French Onion because it's simple, safe and cost efficient. But then I show you this finished bowl and you wonder "Does my oven broiler have such browning capabilities?"
You'd need a full-blown flamethrower to get that kind of crust. Whereas Lobster Bisque doesn't really have any complex finishing moves like French Onion. From an execution standpoint, I hope you see the difference. LB is more pain up front for an easier process later where FO will beat you up in the 4th quarter. It's a completely different mindset to both soups.
Flavor profiles? Don't even get me started here. This one's so similar yet different. Salty and hearty. Rich and overpowering. You really can't go wrong with either, although a good cheese can put FO over the Bisque in a very close call. That's the difference maker to me. Good cheese, gotta give the flavor to French Onion. Anything less than that, flavor leans Lobster Bisque.
Texture is a different story. Texture will always go to the bisque because it's a fucking bisque, guys. Don't complicate it. Smooth for a reason. Creamy, balanced, consistent. These are the pillars of a good soup because you want to find yourself in a rhythm with the spoon. You can't constantly be forced to balance serving size like how French Onion can have you deeply focused on each individual bite. Eating Lobster Bisque is different in that you get to a trance like state through the fluid texture. Clear advantage to the Bisque.
As a standalone meal though nobody beats French Onion. The carb load on the bread is drastically underrated. You get an extra loaf on the side and you can actually hold the dinner menu because one bowl of soup should be enough. That's the shit nobody ever talks about with a Lobster Bisque. No one ever just showed up for a single bowl. Lobster Bisque will always take a backseat to the ribeye that will surely follow.
French Onion? French Onion can survive on its own. French Onion doesn't discriminate based on income or geography. It's the common man soup whereas Bisque demands a certain sophistication. Are they both perfect soups? By no means. But these are 2 of my heaviest hitters and I think they take this fight all 10 rounds.
Ultimately though I have to score this one 113-112 in favor of French Onion. Even if the French are cowards, they make a damn good onion soup.