Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fast French Onion Soup

People, people, have I got news for you!  This version of French onion Soup can be on your table in 30 minutes, and it tastes like it's been cooking all day.  French onion soup is one of my husband's favorite dishes, which makes him more of a connoisseur than me, and he pronounced this to be great.  As for me, I love finding recipes like this: ones that taste like they have been cooked for hours, and that can be prepared in a jiff after work. 

I have made a more traditional recipe for french onion soup in the past, in which the onions are slowly caramelized, and then the broth is added and slowly simmered.  To tell you the truth...I like this version better.  The broth had much more flavor, and I didn't have to cope with the smell of pounds of onions oh-so-slowly cooking down in my kitchen for an hour. 

So I just had to share this with you!  Does anyone else have any great, fast recipes for traditionally slow-cooking dishes to share?  I'd love to know your secrets!

Fast French Onion Soup
serve 3-4 as a main course, 6 as a starter
adapted from Desperation Dinners, by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross


2 Tbsp margarine (I used Land of Lakes Light Butter, made with canola oil)
3 extra-large onions (to yield about 4 cups sliced)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 cans (or 4 cups) reduced fat, low-sodium beef broth
1 can (2 cups) fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried chopped onion
1/2 tsp bottled minced garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 cups shredded low-fat mozzarella
3 cups garlic and onion fat-free croutons
6 Tbsp shredded Parmesan

1. Turn on the broiler.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the 2 Tbsp of margarine.  Slice the onions into 1/4 inch sliced, and add to the pan as you slice.  Turn the heat up to high once you begin to add the onions.  Once all of the onions are added, add the brown sugar.  Turn the heat down to medium once the onions begin to brown.  Stir the onions from time to time, but not too frequently.
3. While the onions are cooking, bring the beef and chicken broth to a boil in a covered Dutch oven.  Once the broth reaches a boil, uncover quickly to add the wine, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, dried onion, onion powder, and thyme.  No need to be very precise about measurements here -- your hands will work fine to measure the spices.
4. While the soup is coming to a boil, place 6 (or fewer for a main-course portion) oven-proof bowls on baking sheets.  If you are not serving all of the soup, just use as many bowls as you need, and prepare the rest of the soup through step 5 before refrigerating for leftovers.
5. When the broth is boiling, add the onions to the soup pot and cover it.  Reduce the heat to medium-high and bring back to a boil for 2-5 minutes to incorporate onion flavor.  Remove from the heat.
6. Ladle soup into the bowls, and sprinkle each bowl with 1/2 cup croutons.  Place 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella over the top of the croutons, followed by 1 Tbsp of Parmesan for each serving.  Carefully place the baking sheet under the boiler for 1 minute, or until the cheese melts and slightly browns.


  1. I love French onion soup!! It's one of my death row meals, haha!! I'd use butter instead of margarine though, which is chemically altered to make it solid, not very healthy and your body can't digest it properly, eek!

  2. I love French onion soup but I've never made it before. This certainly looks easy enough!

  3. Sounds easy to make and looks so yum! Thanks for visiting...

  4. I've been waiting for this all week. Nothing sounds better to me than a bowl of this soup. I'm a huge french onion fan, so you better believe we will be having this tonight or tomorrow!

  5. I love onion soup. I like your shorter version.

  6. i never used to like this soup, but i think now that my taste buds have grown up it'd be right up my alley :)

  7. I have always loved French onion soup - although I have yet to make my own. Yours looks like a recipe that I could attempt!

  8. I've only made French onion soup once and as much as I loved it, I simply couldn't be bothered to make it again. Now THIS recipe sounds great. Quick, easy and full of flavour. Thanks for sharing and I'm glad the dishwasher approved. :o)

  9. This is my husbands fav!! I've never made it but I think I'll have to give it a try! Thx for sharing!

  10. Just coming back to say thank you for linking up to Cookbook Sundays! Enjoy your day!

  11. The soup looks good, but honestly I love your story! Can't wait to visit again. thanks.

  12. My first experience making French onion soup went okay but not great, but this looks like a total winner! Thanks for sharing this delectable recipe. I bet the soup tastes incredibly delicious!

  13. I've often made and absolutely am addicted to the original French Onion Soup from Julia Child which includes Cognac and is simply topped with french bread and swiss. Though I am totally loving this recipe for those times when you want this soup on the fly. This idea rocks in my mind. I am marking this one to try and maybe play around with.

  14. Mmmmmmm French Onion soup is one of my ALL time favorites! This looks DELICIOUS!

  15. That IS good news! I so so love French Onion Soup so I will definitely be trying this. Thanks for sharing:)

  16. Yes! I am stoked about this recipe. Your blog never fails for awesome eats!!!

  17. wonderful! I have been looking for a shortcut french onion soup recipe. I made one the long version a long time ago and came out smelling like an onion myself! thanks for sharing the recipe :)