Historians have found evidence of soup dating as far back as 6000 BC. Boiling food or liquid was an unconventional way of preparing meals until the discovery of water-tight containers. Before clay pots were used, cooks would heat liquids in animal hides.
In 1765 a Parisian entrepreneur opened a shop selling a highly concentrated inexpensive soup called restaurant (meaning: restoring [something]). The soup was advertised as an antidote to physical exhaustion. This prompted the modern use of the word restaurant.
French Onion Soup
Legend has it that the first French Onion Soup was created by King Louis the XV of France when all that could be found in the pantry of his hunting party’s lodge was butter, onions and champagne. It is said that he combined these ingredients to create the first French Onion Soup. It is unclear if this story is myth of fact, but it is a good story none the less!
Onions have been a popular staple in preparing meals from at least as far back as the Roman Times. Onions are easily grown in most soils they are cheap abundantly available and have a long shelf-life. For this reason onions were seen as The Poor Mans food.
The modern version of the soup has evolved from a basic recipe where onions were sliced, fried and then cooked in water and would typically be served with bread and capers. It was only in the nineteenth century that cooks started adding flour, salt and pepper and topped the soup with cheeses such as Gruyere.
Today French Onion Soup Recipes is often made with caramelized onion in a meaty broth. This is often served in individual ramekins and topped with grilled Gruyere cheese. Try Chef Billys take on this time-honored dish ideal for keeping the chills at bay on those cold winter nights!