Bonjour, Independence: 5 Iconic French Dishes for Bastille Day

Good news, Francophiles, Bastille Day is almost here, and that means it’s high time you start cooking. July 14 is the day that the French celebrate their independence, and if that’s not a good excuse to whip up your favorite iconic French dishes, we don’t know what is. The French know their food, and so can you, if you follow these five recipes for some of the most classic French-inspired meals. From French onion soup (Soupe à l’oignon) to Beef Bourguignon to Salade Nicoise to Sole Meuniere, this recipe list has something for everyone, and while everyone can’t be Julia Child, no one ever said you couldn’t try.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

1. Soupe à l’Oignon

We begin with soupe à l’oignon from If you want an indulgent soup you slurp up with a spoon, this is the ticket. It doesn’t matter that it’s summer — French onion soup never goes out of season. And luckily, although French onion soup can seem intimidating, it’s actually quite easy to make, and only requires six ingredients. If you happen to be throwing a Bastille Day party this summer, definitely consider serving this soup. It’s a crowd favorite and feeds many, and you really can’t go wrong with a lot of bread and a lot of cheese.


  • 1 lb onion, peeled
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 2 1/2-3 pints beef stock
  • 4 ounces cognac (or less)
  • 8 -12 slices French bread
  • 4 -6 ounces grated gruyere cheese


Slice the onions very thinly. Cook them in butter until clear (do not let them brown). Add stock and simmer for 45 minutes. Just before serving, add the brandy. Toast the bread towards the end of the cooking time, place the grated Gruyère on the toasted bread and float on the top of the soup. If the soup is served in ovenproof bowls, you can place the filled bowls under the broiler for a minute or so to brown the cheese.