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A Brief History Of Onion Soup
Onion soup is considered in Five Michelin Stars restaurants as fine cooking, despite its humble ingredients: Onions, stock, croûtons, and cheese. Back in the Roman Empire, onion soup was a rustic food, for low-class people, because, onions were abundant and easy to cultivate.
Until the 17th century, onion soup had a royal twist, by King Louis XV [some food historians said Louis XIV], who added butter, croûtons, and Champagne. In the 18th century, in Paris, where cooks started to add cheese on top, over bread, and bake it, to get a rich and tasty soup, a little bit thick.
By the way, you can always warm your heart, on winter days, and at the comfort of your home, with a bowl of French Onion Soup, without or with cheese “au gratin“, for sure not royal and without Champagne, but still delicious and healthy.
How To Make Onion Soup?
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp oil
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 cups chicken or beef stock
- Dash of salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 to 4 French bread (In France, they called it “baguette“) or croûtons
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyère
- Some parsley or thyme, to garnish.
- Peel and thinly slice the onions. Keep 1 tbsp butter, and “sauté” onions in the melted butter, with oil, over low heat.
- Cook, covered, stirring occasionally until the onions are tender, brown, and caramelized.
- Add the stock, season with salt and black pepper, and simmer over medium heat, for 5 minutes.
- Add the flour gradually, and stir in for 3 minutes.
- Simmer uncovered, over low heat, for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Place the soup in ramekins or bowls, top with bread, spread the remaining butter over it, and sprinkle with cheese.
- Broil, bake, or grill until the cheese has melted and the bread is crisp and golden, but not burned.
- Garnish with parsley or thyme. Serve hot.
- The best onions for the French Onion Soup, are Straw Yellow Onions Virtues (Jaune Paille Des Vertus).
- Butter has a tendency to burn quickly, keep an eye, stirring from time to time.
- The best flavor for Onion Soup is Gruyère cheese, but you can try Parmesan or Emmental (see: How To Cook With Cheese?).
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