Lowfat Easy Homemade French Onion Soup

This version calls for caramelizing the onions in the oven rather
than on the stove top.  This gives you more flavor out of the onions without having to continually stir them, and keeps the fat way down.  The broth also has apple for sweetness, and star anise, cinnamon and cardamon to add depth of flavor to store bought broth.  This is a fast and easy soup.

2 tablespoons olive oil
Dried tarragon and basil, 1 tsp each
10 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
3 large yellow onions, cut into thumbnail sized chunks

1 quart  Swanson or College Inn low fat beef broth
1 quart water
1 tsp black cardamon seeds
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 cut up small apple
Ground black pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a shallow pan, spread the chopped onion, then toss with the olive oil, tarragon, basil, bay leaves and thyme sprigs. A metal pan works best for best carmelization. A glass or ceramic pan will just take longer. Do not use a higher heat.

Roast for about 15 minutes, then stir and roast for another 10 minutes. Scrape the pan as you stir the onions, and keep roasting and stirring until the onions are beginning to get golden but not too brown. It may take about 30 minutes.

REMEMBER:   If you have anything else in the oven at the same time, any moisture produced by the other food may tend to steam rather than roast your onions. I found that out by having an acorn squash in with my onions one time. You’re looking for the dry heat here, for a nice roasting, so roast them alone.

When done, remove the pan from the oven, and pick out any really burned black bits. The dark brown bits are fine, they have the flavor. Pour in the broth to deglaze the pan, stirring until the bottom is scraped clean. Pick out the cinnamon stick, the star anise, the bay leaves, and the thyme sprigs.  Pour the onions into a saucepan with the remaining broth.

Increase heat and bring to simmer, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as needed.


One package Imported Original Holland Rusk Light Crisp Toast in your grocer’s bread/melba toast aisle, it’s about $4.00 for a package of 12 rounds. Two rounds are just 60 calories and .5 grams of fat.

One package of Jarlsberg Lite Reduced Fat Swiss Cheese in your grocer’s cheese aisle. One ounce (one slice) is just 70 calories and 3.5 grams of fat.

Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Set individual broiler-safe crocks on baking sheet and fill each with soup. Top each bowl with a Holland Rusk Light Crisp Toast round, Place a piece of Jarlsberg Lite Reduced Fat Swiss Cheese on top and broil until cheese is melted and bubbly around edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

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