Friday, June 08, 2007

Good Soup. Bad Breath

I made French Onion soup today. It turned out tasting very good. It was a very simple recipe and it really hit the spot. It tasted like the stuff you get in restaurants (not that French Onion soup can really vary from place to place). As I was slicing the onions I got to thinking that I could just see a French farmer a long time ago needing to feed his family. All he had was several onions and some beef broth. Maybe if he threw them together and heated it up, he could pass it off for soup. And then viola French Onion soup was born (note the French). However, I did not know this is how it was created but I thought it may be something like that.

So I began to search the Internet, knowing that anything found there should be taken tenously. I found a story that said King Louis the XV was the one who accidently created it by mixing onions, butter and champagne! I have a hard time seeing an onion soup made with champagne so I kept looking.

I looked at another site that had a more believable and perhaps more reputable story. It said that it was not King Louis the XV (or the XIV for that matter) but instead:

According to Dr. Paul Henry, a respected Lyonnais historian, the origins of the soup are probably quite pedestrian. Until relatively recently in rural France, soup was a staple of every household, kept simmering on the stove and eaten daily, often for breakfast. It was made of anything that was cheap, or grew plentifully in the garden—and the onion certainly qualified. It also had the virtue of being available most of the year—and was one of the more flavorful of vegetables. (from Global Gourmet)

(By the way, I did not use either recipe from the above links.)

Anyway, it seems like it came to be because the ingredients are so inexpensive. Whatever the case, mine was good, if I do say so myself. Even if I needed some breath mints afterward.