As a lover of intercontinental dishes, if you have a dish placed before you, and it is Italian or French, you already know you are in for a treat. If you happen to find a chef adept at making this masterpiece, you have found treasure. As the name of the soups suggests, it is characterized by the caramelized onions, salt, and stock.
The onions are caramelized to make them sweet and soft to the core. The onions form the base of the soup itself and are the flavor that many people seek out when having French onion soup. Caramelization is simple, but much attention has to be paid when doing it.
What does french onion soup taste like? The taste of French onion soup is not heavy like cream-based soups. The caramelized onions give it a sweet taste that is hard to miss. Overall, the soup is tasty and savory with a very rich flavor. On a cold morning, a hot bowl of French onion soup will taste like magic. The flavor of the caramelized onions is just like what you would have in a beef broth. The melted cheese gives it a slimy texture that is contrasted by the bread in the soup.
How you caramelize the onions you want to use for the soup determines whether it is going to be sweet, or be on the edge of bitterness. It also determines the color and flavor of the soup.
Nutritional Benefits of French Onion Soup
Onion is the basic ingredient in French onion soup, although there are other ingredients in there too. They all come together to help do the body some good. A combination of all the nutrients in French onion soup can help eye health, good cell communication, and healthy bones. In French onion soup, you have vitamins, fiber, omega 3 ALA, phosphorus, calcium, and antioxidants (phytochemicals).
The antioxidants present in your regular French onion soup are phytochemicals. You have two, Quercetin and Myricetin. Myricetin can protect against diabetes and cancer, it also does a good job of protecting the cells in our body from radical damage.
Quercetin does something entirely different. It protects certain organs in the body, for example, kidneys, liver, and brain. It can protect against diseases like hay fever and asthma. It may also be able to offer protection against cardiovascular diseases.
It also contains vitamin B6, which contributes to immune health, blood health, gets rid of fatigue, and helps hair growth. In there, you also have vitamin B2 (Riboflavin). This helps the creation of energy and shares the duties of vitamin B6 too. You also have Thiamin (Vitamin B1), which contributes to the maintenance of our mental and emotional state.
Omega 3 ALA contributes to the normal functioning of the heart and helps to maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels. You also have minerals like phosphorus and calcium. Phosphorus is responsible for the normal functioning of all the cells in the body and also aids the creation of energy. Calcium is good for the formation of bones and teeth, it can also help maintain muscle health.
Culinary Uses of French Onion Soup
Other than eating it, there is not much you can do with French onion soup because it is a dish all by itself. So let’s get into how you make it instead. So, you will need onions (preferably yellow onions), stock (could be chicken or beef), cloves of garlic, butter, baguette (toasted bread works too), spice and herbs, and cheese (could be gruyere, asiago, or mozzarella).
The first thing you do is caramelize the onions. This could take a while, about an hour or 2 hours, but it is not something you can leave unattended. You have to pay close attention to it. Melt the butter in a stockpot then, sauté the onions in it until it browns nicely. You should never burn the onions, it reduces the richness of the taste. Use wine to deglaze the pan, and add in garlic and flour when it is almost done.
Add the stock, it could be chicken or beef. Cook it until it reaches a simmer, then add your spice or herb. Let it simmer for about 10 more minutes, then add pepper and seasoning to taste. Once that is done, slice your baguette into 1-inch thick pieces and toast them. Set it aside when it begins to turn golden around the edges.
Now, all that is left is to broil the topping. Get a bowl and ladle the soup into it then, add the toasted bread and top it with sliced or grated cheese of your choice. Place the bowl into the oven and broil it for 4 to 6 minutes. Bring it out with mittens and eat it while it is still bubbly and hot.
What is History of French Onion Soup? How to Procure It?
Onion soups have been around, as far back as when the Roman Empire still existed. This onion soup, in particular, originates from Paris, France. It is usually seen as food for poor people since onions are plentiful and easy to grow. It has been around for as far back as the 18th century in France.
The French onion soup was introduced to the United States when a New York restaurant owned by Henri Mouquin started serving it in 1861.
If you want to get French onion soup, you can make it using recipes online, or go to a restaurant that serves French cuisine. But, if you travel to Paris, it shouldn’t be hard to find.
Is French Onion Soup Supposed to Be Sweet?
French onion soup has a sweetness that almost feels like they added sugar. This is because most of the ingredients used in its preparation contain sugar. The wine, bread, and butter, the caramelized onions also enhance the sweetness of the soup.
Facts You Don’t Know About French Onion Soup
- English onion soup is not the same as French onion soup. The ingredients used in them are different.
- Some alternative names for French onion soup are; Gratinée des Halles, Gratinée Lyonnaisse, or Soupe à l’oignon à la Parisienne.