What We’re Cooking Now: French Onion Soup

Our buddy Andrew came over last night for dinner.  He started the Atkins diet a week ago and was being incredibly conscious of every element of his diet.  Somehow he is able to drink red wine on the diet…not sure if that is actually a part of the plan, but it seems to be working for him.  I had planned on making French Onion Soup anyway for Gary, one of his favorites, and just modified the recipe a bit to make sure it would also work for the diet.  I am not saying it is completely healthy, but the flavor was incredible and a few tweaks on a more traditional recipe (no flour, using red wine instead of Sherry, a small amount of butter) it didn’t weigh you down.  Served beside a simple chopped veggie salad with a Dijon vinaigrette and some raw almonds and olives the meal was complete. 

And, did I mention the red wine.  We opened a lush, fruit forward Shiraz from Australia called Hazyblur.  Filled with bright red cherry, spice and caramel really melding with the caramelized flavors of the onions it was a beautiful pairing.   


French Onion Soup
5 Medium white or yellow onions (some people are very specific on the type of onion, and yes sweet Vidalia, Walla Walla or Texas 1015 onions are great if you can find them, but the key is just letting the onions cook long enough to really caramelize)
2 celery stalks – thinly chopped
1 leak – white and light green part only – thinly sliced into rings and cleaned well
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon sea salt + more for final seasoning to taste
1 teaspoon pepper + more for final seasoning to taste
2 cups red wine
6 cups beef broth (low sodium/low fat if you can find it)
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
2 cups shredded Guyere cheese + extra if desired
Croutons (if desired…)

Thinly slice your onions into half moons.  Add the butter to a large dutch oven or pot over medium heat.  Add the onions, leaks and celery with the bay leaves, thyme, Italian seasoning with the salt and pepper and begin sauteing.  If the veggies aren’t releasing enough water add the chicken stock, if they are skip this ingredient.  Allow the veggies to cook over medium/medium low heat for about 20 minutes or until the onions are  golden and caramelized.  Add the red wine and Worcestershire sauce and cook until the wine has reduced by about half.  Remove the bay leaves and add the stock.  Bring the heat up to a quick boil, then reduce the heat, add the parsley and allow to simmer until ready to serve.  Check the seasoning before serving and adjust anything to your taste. For the croutons, I had some left over baguette that I sliced into thick chunks, sprayed lightly with olive oil and broiled for 2-3 minutes in the oven until golden brown.   We served the croutons on the side to keep it Atkins friendly, but did add the cheese to the top of the pot and did a quick broil on the whole pot to slightly brown the cheese, then served with extra cheese on the side for dusting each bowl.  Yum!



  1. Very elegant French Onion Soup recipe. Andrew should leave Atkins at home when he comes to dine at your house. Maybe tell Atkins he’s going out for a smoke and will be back home in 3 hours. That oughta do it.


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