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Here is one popular French idiom : Etre soupe au lait, which strikes a chord with me because I am definitely one ‘soupe au lait’ 🍲

Etre soupe au lait

Etre soupe au lait meaning in English

Etre soupe au lait meaning in English
Etre soupe au lait meaning in English

This common French expression certainly looks weird 🙃

Now what do you think is the meaning of this popular French idiom ‘Etre soupe au lait’, let’s have a look at the picture :

a boiling bowl of soup : ‘soupe’
with milk : ‘au lait’

It literally means : ‘to be a milk soup’ 🍲

But what can it possibly means? Let’s have a look at its origin to understand 🤓

Etre soupe au lait origin

Etre soupe au lait origin
Etre soupe au lait origin

When you heat milk, it boils suddenly and overflowing can only be avoided by moderating the temperature. The term “soupe au lait” first appeared in the 19th century in reference to this phenomenon which reflects sudden anger or mood swings.

This familiar expression has two meanings. Originally, the term was limited to referring to a person with an angry character, easily irritated and prone to unfavorable judgments. Over time, the meaning of this familiar expression has broadened: now, being “soup au lait” is meant by anyone who is sensitive and who is easily reached by their emotions.

Soupe au lait illustration with a recipe

Soupe au lait
Soupe au lait

Soupe au lait ingredients

Here are the ingredients of this real soup : La soupe au lait

  • 1 litre de lait demi-écrémé / A litre of half fat milk 🥛
  • 100 g de farine / 100 g of flour 🍞
  • 4 oeufs frais / 4 fresh eggs 🥚🥚🥚🥚
  • une pincée de sel / one pinch of salt 🧂
  • du sucre / sugar

Soupe au lait preparation

  1. Mettre les œufs dans un saladier et les fouetter légèrement. Ajouter la farine et 1 pincée de sel. Continuer à fouetter afin d’obtenir une pâte bien lisse.

2. Porter le lait à ébullition dans une casserole à fond épais. Au premier bouillon, baisser le feu et verser le mélange en mince filet dans le lait frémissant. Laisser mijoter quelques instants en remuant un peu.

  1. Place the eggs in a bowl and whisk them lightly. Add the flour and a pinch of salt. Continue whisking until you obtain a very smooth paste.

2. Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy-based saucepan. At the first broth, lower the heat and pour the mixture in a thin stream into the simmering milk. Simmer for a few moments, stirring a little.

3. Servir dans les assiettes et ajouter le sucre cristal (1 à 2 cuillerées à soupe selon les goûts).

3. Serve on the plates and add the crystal sugar (1 to 2 tablespoons depending on taste).

This recipe is from Cuisine Journal de Femme, find the recipe here.

Etre soupe au lait Translation in English

Photo by Frans Van Heerden from Pexels

I think that a suitable translation for this amazing French expression is :

to have a short fuse

Etre soupe au lait

Etre soupe au lait French example

One way to illustrate this French idiom would be to say :

Ne l’énerve pas de trop car il est soupe au lait !

Don’t get on his nerves as he has a short fuse

Voilà, this was today’s French idiom in English, I hope you liked it. Click here to find out about the challenge of 50 French idioms in English

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And I’ll see you next time for more French idioms in English ! 👍🧡

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