Cooking the onions very slowly allows the natural sugars to caramelize, giving the soup a deep, rich flavor. You can make the soup through step 2 ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate the soup, then bring it back to room temperature over low heat before proceeding.
Serving suggestion: For a light meal, serve the soup with salad and Toasted Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries for dessert.
Makes 4 servings
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, such as olive or canola oil
2½ pounds red onions, halved and thinly sliced
¼ cup brandy
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups chicken broth, homemade or canned
1½ cups water
1 teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
8 thin slices whole-wheat French or Italian bread (about 2 ounces total)
2 ounces thinly sliced Gruyère or Jarlsberg cheese
1. In a nonstick Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they are very tender and richly browned, about 45 minutes.
2. Stir in the brandy and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the onions, stirring to coat. Stir in the broth, water, thyme, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the flavors have developed, about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Place the bread on the broiler rack and broil 4 to 6 inches from the heat for 30 seconds, or until lightly toasted. Turn the bread over and arrange the cheese on top. Return to the broiler and broil for about 30 seconds, or until the cheese has melted.
4. Ladle the soup into bowls and place the cheese toasts on top.
Nutrition per serving: 283 calories, 7.1g total fat (3g saturated), 13mg cholesterol, 6g dietary fiber, 36g carbohydrate, 11g protein, 906mg sodium.
Good source of: calcium, fiber, folate, potassium, quercetin, selenium, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C.
From The Wellness Kitchen, by the staff of The Wellness Kitchen and the editors of the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter.