The hot, heartwarming French onion soup is the definition of comfort food. The base of caramelized onions, topped with crunchy, toasted bread, covered with melty cheese, is what makes this dish scrumptious.
Onion soups existed way back in Roman and Ancient Greek times, but the more contemporary versions are from the 18th century. There are two theories of how the French Onion Soup was invented.
The first is attributed to the French King Henry XV. After a long hunting day, he retreated to his lodge and found out there was nothing to eat. Together with his aunt, who was there at the time, he searched the cupboards for some food and found only three ingredients: onions, butter, and champagne.
However, there's another version of this legend. It involves Stanislaw Leszczynski, the king of Poland. According to this history bit, he tasted the soup in an inn in France's Champagne region and asked to see how the soup was made. He then repeated the recipe. Thus we have this French specialty today, thanks to him.
The French Onion Soup was introduced to the United States in 1861 by Henri Mouquin. He had a restaurant in New York, and his wife Marie Julie Grandjean Mouquin was the chef. You can get your hands on a bowl right now, with just a tap—order a delicious French onion soup for curbside pickup or delivery with the Slice app.
French onion soup is a type of soup made of beef stock and onions served with toasted bread and melted cheese on top.
Two essential ingredients for the French Onion soup are beef stock and onions. Firstly, the washed and sliced onions are slow-cooked and simmered to perfection.
The key to a perfect French onion soup is the caramelization of the onions. Caramelization is the chemical process that occurs when the natural sugars in the onion get to a specific temperature. When golden brown and soft, the onions are covered with high-quality beef stock.
Since the quality and the taste of the stock can determine the taste of the soup in general, local chefs usually make the stock from scratch. The stock and the onions are left to simmer together until the soup is ready.
Thus, the prepared soup is ladled in oven-proof bowls. Each soup portion is covered with a slice of toasted French bread and some cheese, usually Swiss Gruyѐre and Parmesan. All together is broiled in the oven until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
The best French Onion Soup is the one made with the best, high-quality ingredients.
We're talking about lots of soft and buttery, caramelized onions, some dry vermouth or dry white wine, high-quality beef stock, spices, and fresh herbs as seasonings, crunchy, toasted French baguette and sliced or grated cheese, mostly Gruyѐre and Parmesan.
Pizza Grill in New York is an excellent place for a heart-warming French onion soup, as well as Tj's Restaurant & Pizza in Boston. Order now from these or many other restaurants near you with the Slice app.
So, what is in the best French Onion Soup?
Onions Washed, peeled, sliced, and cooked on some butter or oil until soft, golden-brown, and caramelized.
Dry red or white wine, Vermouth, Cognac, or Sherry. Alcohol is an essential ingredient during the caramelization. It helps deglaze the pot's bottom and ensures the onion doesn't burn and stick to the pot. It also gives a rich aroma to the soup.
Beef stock. The stock is made with a long and meticulous preparation of beef bones and meat, cooked for a long time at low temperature, with water, garlic, fresh herbs like thyme and bay leaf, and spices. Sometimes pre-cooked bouillon is used besides or instead of the beef stock.
Flour. It is used to thicken the soup, and it gives a creamy, velvety texture to the dish.
Bread. French baguette is the obvious choice for a French Onion Soup. It is sliced and baked until crunchy and crispy.
Cheese. Though Gruyѐre is the most popular cheese for this soup, some other cheese alternatives are excellent choices. Swiss cheese, Provolone, Mozzarella, and Gouda are some of them.
Bonus: Some grated Parmesan as a final touch. Et Voilà!
You can use different types of cheese for the French onion soup. The most common choice is the Swiss Gruyѐre cheese, which has a robust and rich flavor and leaves a cheesy aftertaste.
Swiss cheese has a nutty, bittersweet taste and is an excellent alternative to Gruyѐre. Furthermore, Provolone cheese gives saltiness and creaminess to the French onion soup, while the mozzarella will provide a mild and refreshing taste.
The cheese on top is what makes the soup extra creamy. It keeps all the flavors and aromas together under a melty layer of delicious cheese.
The average calorie count for a single serving of French onion soup can come up from 250 to 350 calories.
Depending on the type and amount of bread and cheese per portion, the calorie count can rise to 500.
One small slice of bread and low-fat cheese alternatives like mozzarella can reduce calorie intake by half.
With small changes, the French onion soup can fit everyone's tastes and preferences.
By simply switching the beef stock with vegetable stock, you can get a vegetarian alternative to the French onion soup.
Vegan butter or olive oil instead of milk butter, vegetable stock, and some vegan cheese is what makes a vegan-friendly alternative to the French onion soup.
The traditional French Onion Soup has become one of the most famous French delicacies worldwide and in the US. In America, it gained much popularity around the 1960s, and this cozy and creamy soup is beloved today.
The traditional soup we all love has a fascinating history behind the word "soup." Its origin is from the old French word soupe, which translates to bread soaked in broth. Much like the French onion soup, we all know and love today.
For a low-carb, Keto alternative of the French onion soup, you should omit the bread entirely or choose a gluten-free, grain-free bread alternative such as almond bread. However, you can get the crunchiness from the toasted bread if you choose crumbled pork rinds instead.
Although the traditional French onion soup is made with beef stock, it can also be made with chicken stock.