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January 6, 2010

Warm Up with French Onion Soup

The recent bone-chilling weather has led me to make a lot of warming comfort foods. That doesn't always mean it has to be fattening, however. French onion soup is comforting, delicious and can be relatively light if you choose the right ingredients.  I started with the base of Tyler Florence's recipe and decided to give it some lighter elements for a healthier twist. Here is my take:

4 Onions, sliced- 2 white, 2 yellow
3 cloves of garlic, 2 chopped, 1 whole
1/4 Cup unsalted butter
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
3 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 quarts low-sodium beef broth
1 Cup dry red wine
1 french baguette
4 slices of reduced fat provolone cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, 2 cloves of garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Cook until the onions are translucent, soft and caramelized (about 20-25 minutes). Be careful not to burn them. Add the red wine and boil to reduce. Cook until the onions are dry. Sift the flour and sprinkle on the onions, stirring to incorporate fully. Cook for a few minutes then add the beef broth. Heat thoroughly- about 15 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Turn your oven broiler on low and make sure the rack is at the top of the broiler, near the heat. Slice the french baguette into several small rounds. Rub the whole garlic on the rounds. Pour some of the soup into a ramekin or small oven-safe bowl. Top the soup with one round of the garlic baguette and a slice of the provolone cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese starts to darken and is bubbly. Remove and serve. (Be careful taking these out of the broiler- they will be very hot and easy to spill).


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