What Cheese is in French Onion Soup?

The traditional method of preparing French Onion Soup involves slowly caramelizing onions to bring out their natural sweetness, then simmering them in broth, often flavored with wine and seasonings. The soup is typically served with a slice of toasted bread (baguette or another crusty bread) and topped with melted cheese, often Gruyère, Swiss, and/or parmesan. The entire bowl is then usually placed under a broiler to create the iconic melted cheese crust.

Below you’ll find a list of French onion soup recipes with the cheeses used in them. This gives you some real world examples and reinforces the common use of Swiss, Gruyere, and even Parmesan in this soup.

History of French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is a classic and beloved dish that has a long and flavorful history. While it’s challenging to find the exact origins of this soup, it is generally agreed that it has ancient roots. Onions have been a staple ingredient in European cuisine for centuries due to their availability, long shelf life, and versatility.

The modern version of French Onion Soup, as we know it today, likely evolved over time. One popular theory suggests that it originated in France during the 18th century. According to this narrative, the soup gained popularity among the working class in Parisian markets, where onions were abundant and inexpensive. The dish’s simple yet satisfying nature made it an affordable and hearty option for the lower socioeconomic classes.

The use of broth, onions, and bread in soups can be traced back hundreds of years, but the addition of melted cheese on top, a defining characteristic of French Onion Soup, is a more recent development. The use of melted cheese as a topping is often attributed to the countries of France or Switzerland, which explains the cheeses used in it.

Legend has it that the modern iteration of French Onion Soup gained further popularity in the United States thanks to the famous French chef, Julia Child, who helped introduce French cuisine to American households through her cookbooks and television shows.

French Onion Soup has become a staple in many countries, appreciated for its rich flavor and comforting warmth. Over time, chefs and home cooks have added their own twists to the recipe, but the essence of this delicious soup remains deeply rooted in its historical origins.