The ultimate makeover: French onion soup

Discover Angela Nilsen’s incredible twist on the famous French onion soup recipe. In this ultimate makeover, she expertly avoids butter and beef broth, resulting in a lighter but equally flavorful soup. This fantastic adaptation offers a refreshing take on the classic, allowing you to enjoy its delightful aroma and tantalizing taste guilt-free. Dive into a bowl of this revamped French Onion Soup and experience a culinary revelation like never before!


  • 4 large Spanish onions (approx. 900 g)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 300 ml dry white wine
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of flour
  • 1 tbsp Swiss vegetable bouillon
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil
  • 4 long slices of baguette
  • 25g Parmesan, or vegetarian alternative, coarsely grated
  • 50g Gruyère, coarsely grated

Preparation steps

  1. Halve the onions lengthwise and then cut into very thin slices.
  2. Heat a very large pan and add the hot oil.
  3. Stir in onions, 3 thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
  4. Season with a little salt.
  5. Cook over high heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. The onions should just be starting to soften, but not brown.
  7. Reduce the heat and cook slowly, uncovered, for 35 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are completely reduced and very soft.
  8. While the onions are cooking, bring the wine to a boil in a small saucepan.
  9. Allow to bubble for 30 seconds, then remove and allow to cool.
  10. Place the flour in a small, heavy skillet and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until light brown in color. Put aside.
  11. When the onions are very soft and reduced, increase the heat to caramelize them.
  12. Cook for another 12-15 minutes, stirring to mix out the brown, sticky bits at the bottom of the pan.
  13. Stir in the flour, then gradually pour in the wine while stirring.
  14. Pour in 1.2 liters of cold water and stir in the stock.
  15. Bring everything slowly to the boil, skimming off the foam from the surface.
  16. Simmer for 15 minutes to allow all the flavors to blend.
  17. While the soup is simmering, prepare the toppings.
  18. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.
  19. Mix the garlic and oil together and then spread it over the bread slices.
  20. Cut each slice of bread into cubes.
  21. Spread the bread cubes on a baking tray and bake until golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Put aside.
  22. Line a baking tray with baking paper or non-stick silicone film.
  23. Remove the leaves from the remaining thyme sprig and mix with the grated Parmesan.
  24. Sprinkle the thyme and Parmesan mixture onto the baking sheet lined with baking paper and spread it into a 13 x 8 cm rectangle.
  25. Bake until melted and golden in color, about 8 minutes.
  26. Remove, allow to solidify and then break into jagged pieces.
  27. To serve, remove and discard the herbs from the soup.
  28. Pour the soup into bowls and sprinkle with a few croutons, Gruyère cheese and a pinch of pepper.
  29. Add a parmesan chip on top.
  30. Serve remaining croutons separately.

Nutritional Information

405 19g 5g 44g 18g 4g 12g 1g


The ultimate makeover: French onion soup

The ultimate makeover: French onion soup

Equipment and tools

To prepare this recipe you will need the following equipment and tools:

  • dulcimer
  • Sharp knife
  • Pot
  • wooden spoon
  • Sieve
  • trowel
  • Oven-safe bowls or ramekins
  • grill

Allergen information

This recipe may contain the following allergens:

  • Dairy products (Parmesan and Gruyère)
  • Gluten (baguette)

Storage and leftovers

If you have leftovers, follow these storage guidelines:

  1. Allow the soup to cool completely.
  2. Place the soup in an airtight container.
  3. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  4. To reheat, gently warm the soup in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.


Below are the ingredients and steps to make the ultimate French onion soup:

4 large Spanish onions (approx. 900 g)
3 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil
4 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
300 ml dry white wine
1 heaped tablespoon of flour
1 tbsp Swiss vegetable bouillon
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil
4 long slices of baguette
25g Parmesan, or vegetarian alternative, coarsely grated
50g Gruyère, coarsely grated
  1. Peel the onions and cut them into thin slices.
  2. Heat the extra virgin canola oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add onions, thyme sprigs and bay leaves to the pan.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Add the white wine and simmer for a few minutes until reduced by half.
  6. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and mix well.
  7. Gradually pour in the vegetable stock while stirring constantly.
  8. Add the crushed garlic and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the soup has thickened slightly.
  9. In the meantime, preheat the grill.
  10. Brush the baguette slices with extra virgin rapeseed oil and place under the grill until golden brown and crispy.
  11. Pour the soup into ovenproof bowls or ramekins.
  12. Top each bowl with a slice of grilled baguette.
  13. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan and Gruyère over the baguette slices.
  14. Place the bowls or ramekins under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbles.
  15. Serve hot and enjoy!

Health Benefits of “The Ultimate Makeover: French Onion Soup”

In addition to being a comforting and delicious dish, French onion soup also offers several health benefits. From the main ingredient of onions to the use of canola oil and garlic, this recipe delivers nutritional value. Let’s explore the health benefits of each ingredient in this ultimate reimagining of French onion soup.

1. Spanish onions

The main ingredient in this soup, Spanish onions, offers numerous health benefits. They are low in calories and fat, making them an excellent choice for weight management. Onions are also a great source of fiber, which aids digestion and promotes a healthy digestive system.

2. Extra virgin rapeseed oil

Extra virgin rapeseed oil is used both when cooking the onions and when making the crispy bread topping. This oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which have been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and support brain health.

3. Thyme and bay leaves

The addition of thyme sprigs and bay leaves not only enhances the flavor of the soup but also provides numerous health benefits. Thyme is known for its antioxidant properties, which help protect the body from free radicals and reduce inflammation. Bay leaves, on the other hand, contain essential oils that have been proven to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Dry white wine

While the dry white wine in this recipe adds flavor to the soup, it also offers some health benefits. Moderate wine consumption is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. The antioxidants found in wine, such as resveratrol, may contribute to these benefits.

5. Swiss vegetable bouillon

The addition of Swiss vegetable broth adds flavor to the soup without the need for excessive salt. It is a healthier alternative to traditional high-sodium stocks because it is made from a blend of vegetables and herbs. This low-sodium option helps keep your blood pressure under control and reduces your risk of heart disease.

6. Garlic

Not only does garlic provide a delicious, pungent taste, but it also offers numerous health benefits. It has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties, including boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels. Garlic also contains a compound called allicin, which has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

7. Parmesan and Gruyere

The finishing touches of Parmesan and Gruyère cheese give the soup a hearty and creamy touch. While cheese should be consumed in moderation due to its calorie and fat content, it also provides important nutrients such as calcium and protein. These cheeses have a lower fat content compared to some other cheeses, making them a healthier choice.

In summary, this ultimate reinterpretation of French onion soup not only satisfies your taste buds but also offers a number of health benefits. From the antioxidant-rich onions to the heart-healthy canola oil and garlic, each ingredient helps promote overall wellness. So enjoy this comforting and nutritious French Onion Soup!

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