In the 1960s, Julia Child’s popular cooking TV show sparked a newfound appreciation for French cuisine, bringing into vogue such dishes as beef bourguignon and, of course, French onion soup.
That’s when this soup became a real staple on restaurant menus across the United States.
You’ll find French onion soup on nearly every kind of American menu, from cozy diners to fancy country clubs. First off, it’s inexpensive to make and requires just a handful of common ingredients that most kitchens will have stocked for other recipes.
Onions have a long shelf life, don’t require special storage space, and have a savory flavor that’s familiar and comforting on a cold day.
Requiring only a few basic ingredients, this soup is a great way to make something impressive out of items you likely need to keep stocked for other recipes.
Legend has it that King Louis XV (pictured to the right) was at his hunting lodge one evening and the only ingredients in the pantry were onions, butter, and champagne. The truth of this story is somewhat unsubstantiated, but it’s a fun legend nonetheless.
So, while that may sound like a long time, you’ll be free to work on other tasks while your flavors develop.
It’s important not to rush these steps because, as your onions cook down, their natural sugars are released, creating that beautiful flavor that is essential in French onion soup.
To put a modern spin on this classic French dish, we switched out some of the key ingredients and incorporated something unexpected: a coffee stout.
French onion soup is a basic soup of caramelized onions in broth, finished with a dash of sherry, and topped with a crunchy crouton with lots of melted gruyere cheese.