One of my favorite cold-weather meals is French onion soup, perfect for today's rainy weather. When I was little, my parents would take my brother and me to the Hamburger Hamlet (RIP), where I would order a mini crock of French onion soup and attack the gooey layer of cheese with my spoon. I never wanted to eat it too fast, making an effort to get some melted Swiss, delicate bread cubes and caramelized onion in each bite. When I was done, "dessert" was picking the crunchy cheese off the sides of the bowl, creating a mini cheese crisp I couldn't get enough of.
|Homemade French onion soup is easier than you think!|
I never thought to make it at home, assuming the soup was labor-intensive and incredibly complicated. That all changed when my father-in-law made perhaps my favorite French onion soup from scratch during the holidays and I asked him for the recipe. Turns out it's beyond easy to make and is really healthy. No, really. I promise. It's also an instant crowd pleaser and the perfect cold-weather meal. Try it for yourself. It will become a staple in your meal rotation.
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
YIELD: 8 servings
• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• 4 cups thinly vertically sliced Walla Walla or other sweet onion
• 4 cups thinly vertically sliced red onion
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup dry white wine
• 8 cups less-sodium beef broth
• 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
• 8 (1-ounce) slices French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
• 8 (1-ounce) slices reduced-fat, reduced-sodium Swiss cheese (such as Alpine Lace)
Preparation: Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions to pan; sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in sugar, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to medium; cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium-high, and sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is golden brown. Stir in wine, and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and thyme; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours. Preheat broiler. Place bread in a single layer on a baking sheet; broil 2 minutes or until toasted, turning after 1 minute. Place 8 ovenproof bowls on a jelly-roll pan. Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl. Divide bread evenly among bowls; top each serving with 1 cheese slice. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese begins to brown. Serve immediately and enjoy!
|Sauté onions in Dutch oven for 5 minutes or until tender|
|Increase heat to medium-high, and sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is golden brown (mine wasn't golden brown yet)|
|Stir in wine, let cook for 1 minute. Add broth and thyme; bring to a boil.|
|Divide toasted bread evenly among bowls.|
|I could eat the soup just like this... but we can't forget the cheese!|
|Top each serving with 1 cheese slice. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.|
|Serve immediately and enjoy!|