nourishing french onion soup
What is french onion soup doing on a nutrition blog anyways?
Isn’t that stuff bubbling with butter, flowing with a mess of swiss cheese and topped off with 4 inches of crusty bread?
And HEY WAIT A SEC- where’s the cheese?
OK here me out. As a snow-friendly Ontarion who spent many winters shuttling to Quebec for the slopes and sub-zero temps, I know my way around a bowl of the good stuff.
There has to be caramelized onions. Onions cooked so slowly and patiently that they collapse into little bundles of velvety strings of caramel at the bottom of the pot. There has to be a hearty broth, dark and rich providing a hint of beefiness in the backbone of the soup. And there has to be a tart influence of wine to balance out the flavours.
This may be a crime, but I feel the rest of the accouterments are optional.
If you have a beautifully balanced bowl of french onion soup, you need NOT shred a mountain of gruyere on top of it.
In fact a slice of hearty bread for dipping will suit you just fine.
There is something else suspicious about this recipe- there are green lentils. You have Sarah Britton from My New Roots to thank for that addition. It just makes sense, doesn’t it? Lentils are inconspicuous in this recipe, and camouflage their flavour to that of the soup. They sneak into each bite and create for a heartier, more satisfying bowl-one that you can enjoy for a lunch or dinner on its own.
nutritional highlights of nourishing french onion soup
Lentils are one of the most easy to digest legume, that you can easily incorporate into your diet if you are looking to enjoy the benefits of the high fiber, blood sugar balancing, heart-loving legume. Throwing them into a soup like this easily increases the protein content, making you less susceptible to the afternoon crash + cravings later.
Fresh thyme, used by the handful in this recipe, has been celebrated as one of the most nutrient dense herbs on the block. Thyme is an excellent source of vitamin C, iron and manganese, and is best known for containing the substance thymol- which has powerful antibacterial that have also been shown to have antimicrobial activity against a host of different bacteria and fungi. Translation: thyme keeps our immune system strong and our bodies healthy!
Nourishing French Onion Soup
You won't miss a thing in this delicate, nourishing version of the classic french onion soup. Made with lentils and velvety caramelized onions, this soup will become a winter warming favourite in your house.
5 yellow onions
pinch of brown sugar or coconut palm sugar (to help with caramelization)
1/2 cup uncooked green lentils
1 T coconut oil
3 T red wine vinegar
3-4 T tamari
1 t dijon mustard
6 cups of vegetable broth
5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
black pepper, salt if needed
- Cut the onions in half lengthways, then slice into very thin slices.
- Heat a large pot, add the coconut oil and stir in the onions, and a couple of the thyme sprigs, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. If onions stick to bottom or become dry, drizzle with a little of your red wine vinegar. Cook until onions are completely soft and browned, about 30 minutes. (do not burn)
- Add the rest of the thyme and red wine vinegar,mustard, tamari, lentils and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes (lentils should be tender)
- Serve as you like, with a piece of gluten free bread, crackers or cheese.