More vitamin C than an Orange

This week’s Step Up route recipe is a classic French onion soup, bursting with vitamin C

lots and lots of onions

A French Classic

As part of our Fairytale route we travel virtually through Calais, so this week’s recipe is a French Classic that is bursting with goodness.

An onion soup goes back as far as the Roman’s who were partial to a broth. But it was the French in the 18th Century that created the classic onion soup we know today.

Legend has it that King Louis 15th invented it on a hunting trip, when he found his lodge cupboard bare apart from some onions, champagne and butter. A more plausible story is that Nicholas Appert (who invented canning food) created it, and served it to the Duke of Lorraine (King Louis father-inl-law) who was so smitten with the taste he took the recipe to the Royal Court for all to enjoy. Appert certainly captured the recipe in his cook book of 1831 and dedicated it to the Duke.

Today it is a favourite for French and tourists to France alike. Pied de Cochon is Paris’s only 24 hour restaurant, and to this day it serves around 200 bowls of French Onion soup daily. It is renown as a hangover cure and late night party goes will pick up a bowl on the way home to fend off a dreaded hangover.

Make it at home

There is no need to travel to Paris to enjoy a bowl of this classic soup, the recipe is super easy to make at home, requiring a few simple ingredients and a lot of patience (the key to a good soup is letting the onions cook low and slow to caramelize into delicious flavour).

Louise Robinson is a food writer based in Sussex, and she shared her recipe with the Great British Chefs website – you can find it here.

If you would prefer an alcohol free version try this one from Nigella Lawson which strips the dish right back to just five ingredients – find it here.

If you prefer to use a veg stock rather than the traditional beef just remember to cook the onions for a little longer to really draw out the depth of flavour.

This soup tastes amazing, is warming on a winter day (especially after a big walk!) and is bursting with goodness that supports a healthy immune system. Enjoy!