French onion soup is the kind of hearty yet healthy meals that can put a soothing capstone on a hectic winter day. The only problem is this recipe, while simple, takes several hours to simmer and so might be best made beforehand — or on a snow day.
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced sweet onion
4 cups thinly sliced red onion
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white wine
8 cups fat-free 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 Swiss cheese
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Stir in sugar, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium-high, and sauté for five minutes or until onion is golden brown. Transfer the onion to a large pot, then stir in wine, and cook for one minute. Add broth and thyme; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for two hours.
Since I don’t have broiler-proof bowls, I improvised a way to top the soup with croutons and cheese. First, toast the bread cubes about two to three minutes until crispy; it’s best to do this already grouped for the number you’re serving. Then, top with a slice of cheese and broil for another few minutes until the cheese begins to brown. Then place each group of croutons and cheese onto each bowl you’re serving.
Yields eight servings.