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.