French onion soup
|French onion soup|
Bowl of French onion soup
|Alternative name(s)||Onion soup|
|Place of origin||France|
|Region or state||All|
|Main ingredient(s)||Onions, beef or chicken stock, croutons, grated cheese|
French onion soup (Soupe à l'oignon) is a type of soup usually based on meat stock, and often served gratinéed with croutons and cheese on top. Although ancient in origin, the dish underwent a resurgence of popularity in the 1960s in the United States due to a greater interest in French cuisine. French onion soup is usually a plate that is served as a starter.
Onion soups have been popular at least as far back as Roman times. Throughout history, they were seen as food for poor people, as onions were plentiful and easy to grow. The modern version of this soup originates in France in the 18th century, made from beef broth, and caramelized onions. It is often finished by being placed under a grill in a ramekin with croutons and gruyère melted on top. The crouton on top is reminiscent of ancient soups (see History of Soup).
Recipes for onion soup vary greatly:
...now to the recipe. There are at least a hundred. There is only one. There must be onion in it, as its name indicates, and all the rest is relatively unimportant. Cheese? Yes, but the kind of cheese doesn't matter. Bread? Certainly, for those who are hungry. An aroma of wine, or a spirit? By all means, as long as it is merely as a supplement to the dominant "key," that of the onion in all its glory.
Generally, recipes specify that the onions should be cooked slowly, becoming caramelized. Brandy or sherry is added at the end. The soup base is often topped with a slice of bread (a 'croute' or 'crouton').
For the gratinéed version, the croute is topped with cheese and broiled or baked. The soup is then immediately served in the bowl or ramekin in which it was broiled(Grilled - UK) or baked or, in family-style, the soup is immediately transferred to individual serving bowls via a ladle.
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