Wednesday, November 2, 2011

80-- Lighter French Onion Soup

When I say "French Onion Soup" do you think "cheese"? If that is the only reason why you eat this lovely brothy fragrant soup, then you need not read any further. The highlight of this recipe is the flavorful broth and onions.

One of the most common questions that I am asked is "Are onions good for me?". Yes. They are. Onions contain polyphenols, and are especially high in flavonoids, mainly quercetin. Cooking onions does not degrade the quercetins, but they are transferred into the liquid that they are cooked in. These special phytonutrients could lower your cancer risk. Consuming just one onion per week could provide this benefit. When you peel your onion be sure to maintain as much of the edible outer portions as possible, since this is where the majority of the flavonoids are located.

Eat up!

Lighter French Onion Soup
Serves 6

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 large white onions, sliced thin (~ 5 cups)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups water
3 cups low sodium beef broth
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 cups crusty bread cubes (I used a garlic pain au levain)
1 1/4 cups Parmesan, shredded

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place bread cubes onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly brown and crispy. Set aside.

In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, thyme, fennel seeds, garlic powder, celery salt, sea salt and black pepper. Saute until coated with oil, then cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently until browned.

Add red wine and cook ~2 minutes more. Add broth, Worcestershire, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cook for 15 minutes more.

To serve: ladle soup into a bowl or crock, then immediately top with 1/2 cup bread cubes and 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

Nutrition Info per 2 cup serving: 214 calories, 6 g fat, 10 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 416 mg sodium


  1. Oh my gosh, I adore french onion soup, and a healthier version - heaven! I can't wait to give this beauty a shot. ~Megan

  2. I'm so excited! I bought onions to make french onion soup this week, but hadn't looked up a recipe yet. It's fate!

  3. French onion soup is my fav and I love a lighter version....but I'm not sure I could do without the cheese. Glad to see a lower-sodium alternative for the broth though :)