French Onion Soup and My Lil’ String Bean

Tired of doing the dishes? Here’s a one-pot wonder, and it’s making my house smell amazing!

When my kids were little, two were “good little eaters,” and one was a lil’ string bean. Getting her to to eat was a challenge, and yet I never met a baby who would purposefully not eat to their fill. She just had the metabolism of a race horse!

When she was well into her 2nd year, the well-meaning pediatrician announced that unless baby girl was 30 pounds by the time she was 3 years old, he was going to have to “DO something.”

UNFAZED, (this was our THIRD child,) but also proactive, I would start sautéing onions about 5:00pm in the evening to whet her appetite, because there isn’t much that smells better than sautéed onions, am I right? Whether or not we served them wasn’t the issue, but it peaked her interest, and by her 3rd birthday, guess who had almost reached 30 lbs? (She’s still a string bean, at 25 y.o., 5’6”, with legs up to her armpits, lucky girl!)

So tonight, we reminisce, and sauté some onions.

French Onion soup used to be a fat-fest. Copious amounts of butter, and enough Jarlsberg cheese for you and five of your best friends. It took a spoon AND a fork to eat…. oh cheese, I loved you so.

But now for the heart healthy version: Sauté 2 pounds of yellow onions in just 1 Tbsp butter. Add 1 Tbsp cooking sherry, 1 Tbsp red wine, and 1 Tbsp whole wheat flour.

Sauté until onions are translucent. Add 2 cartons no-salt-added beef broth, and simmer for 20 minutes. Done!

Our Cuisinart, the reliable workhorse, 30 years old and still my ever faithful friend… You make the tedious tasks so easy. Thank you.

Shredded Jarlberg cheese and toasted whole grain bakery bread… and we were done. Broiler magic.

And just like that….. dinner was done! Low-cal, low-sodium, low-fat, and the house still smells delicious!

Ironically, we roasted STRING BEANS for a side dish, and wow were they ever good that way! Just coat them with 1 tsp of olive oil and a little granulated garlic… 425 degrees for 10 minutes – YUM!

Now if we could just turn back the clock, to the days of enjoying those 3 lil’ babes so young……

French Onion Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 253kcal
We've turned a classic into a healthy classic!
Print Recipe


  • 2 lbs yellow onions
  • 64 oz no-salt added beef stock
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp dry red wine
  • 6 oz Jarlsberg cheese, grated
  • 6 slices whole grain bread


  • Slice onions thinly with a mandolin, food processor, or knife.
  • Sauté the onions in butter in a large soup pot.
  • Add wine and beef stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.
  • Shred 4oz Jarlsberg cheese. Toast bread. Ladle soup into oven-proof crocks. Place one slice of toast into each crock, sprinkle on cheese.
  • Line a large sheet pan with foil. Place crocks on sheet pan, and broil 1-2 minutes, just until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Serve immediately.


Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 403mg | Potassium: 712mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 261IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 270mg | Iron: 2mg

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