This is a preview of the content in our Italian Food Decoder app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Add Map function to find sites, as well as your own custom locations (your hotel...)
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with our advanced text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play


onion soup

A Tuscan classic first noted in the 16th century, made (ideally) with red onions from Certaldo, sautéed in olive oil and cooked in a vegetable broth, served over toasted bread and topped with grated pecorino. Some had fresh peas or broad beans, or an egg.

The original Renaissance recipe, which included ground almonds, sugar, cinnamon and vinegar, was a favourite of Leonardo da Vinci (a vegetarian).

Did the Tuscans teach the French how to make their soupe d'onion? The Florentines of course say yes, when Catherine de' Medici married Henri II and brought her chefs with her to Paris, and introduced the French to new recipes as well as peas, artichokes, white beans, figs and perhaps even forks.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Luca Nebuloni