Dinner Tonight: Miso French Onion Soup

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French-onion-soupI remember the first time I had French onion soup. I was in college and had gone over to a friend’s house for dinner. Her mom brought us these handled bowls full of steamy soup, covered in bread and cheese. From that moment on, French onion soup became a favorite.

As the days turn a little chillier, this soup becomes a staple. The following recipe uses miso paste instead of the traditional beef broth. A staple in Asia for thousands of years, miso is made from soybeans fermented with a grain such as brown rice or barley. The result is a tasty, salty condiment that is live with bacterial culture and excellent for promoting gastrointestinal health. Soybeans also contain lecithin, which provides key ingredients for brain neurotransmitters, an excellent way to boost brain function. The onions provide sulphoraphanes, which increase immunity, counter free-radical damage, and fight cancer.

French Onion Soup

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 cups water
3 Tbsp miso paste
4 slices whole wheat French bread
4 tsp seeded mustard
1 cup Swiss or mozzarella cheese or dairy free equivalent, grated

In a large pot, warm oil over low heat and add onions. Caramelize the onions by cooking them slowly for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. I know it is a long time, but definitely worth it to get sweet, delicious onions. 

Once the onions are cooked, add the water and bring to a boil. Remove approximately 1/2 cup of the broth and dissolve the miso paste in it. Remove soup pot from heat and stir miso mixture back into the broth.

Preheat broiler. Pour equal amounts of broth into 4 ramekins or oven-proof bowls. Place bowls on a baking tray. Spread French bread with mustard and place slices, mustard side down, on top of the broth. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 2 to 3 minutes until cheese softens and bubbles. Serve hot.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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October 2014
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