healthy_eatingOf all the soups around, French Onion is surely one of the most delicious.
But it does take a little bit of time, though only a little bit of effort, to make it.
Most of the effort goes into fighting back the tears as you slice your way through four red onions, but the result is definitely worth it.
If you have home made stock, all the better for this recipe. If not, find a good quality stock as it really adds to the flavour in this simple dish.
This soup is a terrific meal when you are trying to lose weight, as it fills you up with nutritious vegetables while not overdoing it on cream, butter or other high fat additions.
Choose any cheese that you like for the topping, or omit the topping altogether if you are wanting to cut calories.


For the soup:

  • 4 large red onions, sliced very thinly length ways
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup of dry white wine (or just use more stock)
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1.2L low sodium beef stock
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the topping:

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices of a seeded wholegrain roll, loaf or baguette
  • 4 tbsp low fat cheddar, mozzarella, gruyere, or Swiss cheese
  • Heat the oil in a large pan over high heat.
  • Add the onions, bay leaves, 3 of the thyme sprigs and some salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
  • Lower the heat and cook for a further 30 minutes, without a lid, stirring often.
  • Meanwhile in another pan, bring the wine to the boil and allow to boil for 30 seconds. Set aside.
  • Turn up the heat on the onions now and cook for 15 minutes so that they begin to caramelise.
  • When the pan and onions are dark and brown, add the flour. Stir well.
  • Gradually add the wine, still stirring to grab any bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the stock now, and simmer for around 20 minutes.
  • While the soup bubbles away happily, make the topping.
  • Heat your oven to 200C.
  • Mix the garlic and oil together and brush all over the bread.
  • Bake for 6-8 minutes or until golden.
  • Check the seasoning, and remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
  • Serve the soup into ovenproof bowls.
  • Top with the bread and cheese and place back in the oven until bubbling and golden.
  • Top with the leaves from the remaining thyme sprig.

Serves: 4. Calories per serve: 325.
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