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soupe à l’oignon

onion soup

French onion soup

Ask someone to name a French soup, and you’re likely to get soupe à l’oignon for an answer. Gratinée Parisienne and gratinée des Halles are other names for it.

This Parisian classic that first became popular in the 18th century. The beaneries around the old Halles of Paris would serve it throughout the night, for early risers bringing in the day’s food to the great wholesale market and for late night revellers, who would stop for a bowl before heading home to keep their hangovers from being too painful.

Now that the wholesale market has moved out to Rungis, it just ain’t the same.

The classic recipe calls for caramelizing the onions before deglazing with white wine or brandy and adding beef broth and simmered. Then it should be ladled into bowls with a toasted baguette slice, covered with grated Comté cheese, then chucked under the grill until brown and bubbly.

Classic dishes

Paris and the Île de France

Soups, stews and casseroles

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Jeremy Keith