Here's How Many Onions You Actually Need For French Onion Soup

According to The Culture Trip, French onion soup dates all the way back to the 18th century, created by Nicolas Appert, who invented the canning method and is known as the father of food preservation. While working in the kitchen at hotel La Pomme d'Or, he served the comforting starter to the Duke of Lorraine, Stanislas Leszczynski. After tasting it, Leszczynski couldn't help but ask to take the recipe to court. Years later, Appert published a cookbook, including the recipe and naming it "Onion Soup à la Stanislas." As the soup grew in popularity, people noticed its ability to mask the smell of alcohol, leading it to be known as "the soup of the drunkards," and become a go-to hangover cure for the French.

When preparing French onion soup, every chef has their favorite way of doing it, though the general recipe calls for caramelized onions to be simmered in beef stock and topped with bread and melty Gruyere cheese. Vidalias are an excellent onion choice for the dish, as Food52 explains they naturally provide a subtle sweetness that yields a shorter cook time than classic yellow onions, which require a longer, gentler heat to release their natural sugars properly. And though the amount of onion required for making this soup might surprise you, you should think twice before changing the recipe.

Way more onions than you might think

If the name didn't make it clear, you're going to need quite a few onions if you want your French onion soup to turn out flavorful; In fact, our easy French onion soup recipe, which creates six servings of soup, calls for four whole onions, meaning you're packing a little over half an onion into each bowl. If you're at the store and looking to serve a larger crowd Food52 did the math for us. When cooking French onion soup with Vidalia onions, the outlet recommends you purchase about half a pound of onions per person.

Once you've got all your onions sliced and the tears have been wiped away, Kitchn suggests being patient during the caramelization process. If the heat is cranked too high, the onions are almost certain to burn. Expect at least an hour of monitoring and occasional stirring over gentle heat in order to let the onions fully do their thing.