There are few appetizers or soups as popular as French onion soup. When you see another table being served ramekins topped with toasted cheese, you can’t help but order one for yourself. With toasted cheese and bread, caramelized onions, and a warm, savory broth, you can’t beat starting your dinner off with a bowl of this delicious soup. However, you might have wondered just what makes this dish French, or if it even is French at all.
French onion soup seems like a simple recipe with only a few ingredients, so where did it really come from? Learn more about how this dish became so popular!
Did French Onion Soup Really Come from France?
It’s hard to trace exactly how far back onion soups have been made. These date back to at least Roman times and have existed in many different areas. However, it’s believed that French onion soup isn’t as old as other soup recipes.
One myth says that it was King Louis XV of France who made the first recipe. Allegedly, Louis was staying at his hunting lodge when he became hungry and found that all he had to eat was onions, butter, and champagne. When you mix these ingredients together, you get a dish similar to what we know as French onion soup today.
Another legend involved Louis XV’s father-in-law, the Duke of Lorraine, Stanislas Leszczynski, the former king of Poland. On a trip to visit his daughter Queen Marie, Stanislas stayed at an inn in Châlons-en-Champagne, where Nicolas Appert, who invented canning, prepared the dish for him. Stanislas was reportedly so taken with the dish that he insisted on learning how to make it so that he could bring it back to Versailles.
When Did It Become Popular?
Regardless of who first created this type of soup, many agree that it gained its popularity at Les Halles, at one point the largest open-air food market in Paris. Restaurants near Les Halles became popular for serving French onion soup and it was often considered a food for the poor due to the affordability of the ingredients. It’s also believed that restaurants in this area were the ones who first added cheese to the soup. Because of this, the dish is sometimes called Gratinée des Halles. This hearty soup was a common breakfast for workers in the area to prepare them for the day, but also as a hangover cure for those staying out late at Parisian cabarets. Today, it is still a popular hangover food in France, while we often enjoy it here before dinner.
Like many French foods, French onion soup became popular in the United States in the 1960s, although you could find it in French restaurants in the US for decades prior to this.
Enjoy French Onion Soup at Grico’s South
No menu would be complete without French onion soup, and at Grico’s South, we know how much people enjoy classic dishes like this. If you’re craving French onion soup, you don’t have to travel to a French bistro to enjoy it. We offer an amazing French onion soup for you to have before your meal that you’ll love.
Make reservations for dinner in Nanticoke with us at Grico’s South today!