Healthy French Onion Soup

Colombe Jacobsen guides you through a light vegetarian version of a comfort classic which is just in time for those cold winter days - Healthy French Onion Soup! 

The first step of this French onion soup recipe is to create the stock - this will be the base for all the flavor of the soup. The primary ingredient for the stock will be onion peels. Onions have a surprising amount of nutritional value. They are great for cardiovascular issues and also help to build bone and connective tissue. Just peel off the skins of your onions to be used in the broth. 

Colombe also adds turnips to the broth. They will help give the French onion soup broth a lot of flavor, particularly because we are making a vegetarian broth. Place the broth on the back burner of the stove. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 50 minutes. 

In a second pot, you can start your onions for the bodies of the healthy French onion soup. First, put in two tablespoons of butter. Alternatively, you can also use olive oil as a substitute for the butter if you are watching your butter intake. Once the butter has melted in the pot, add in the sliced onions and thyme. Wilt the onions until they are a nice caramelized brown.

Once the broth is ready, strain the onion peels and turnips so you have a nice clear broth. Then, add in the secret touch finishing flavors - low sodium soy sauce, mirin and rice wine. Combine body of soup with the broth. 

To serve, Colombe recommends pre-toasting a whole grain piece of bread, and then adding a small amount of grated gruyere cheese and thyme. Then scoop the healthy French onion soup directly over top of the bread and cheese - the heat of the soup will melt the cheese without needing to place in the oven. 

This easy recipe for healthy French onion soup will help you warm up any fall or winter day!



  • 4 turnips
  • 12 cups water
  • 4 large onions, sliced
  • 1 bunch thyme (tied in a bundle)
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1-cup Gruyere cheese (grated)
  • Onion skins (papery white parts, not the yellow)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup mirin
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • 4-6 slices toasted crusty bread
Fill a large heavy bottomed pot with 12 cups water. To that add 4 turnips rough chopped and onion skins (the papery white part). Boil and bring to a simmer for about 50 minutes or until the veggies are soft. Strain and reserve stock. Throw away the turnips and onion skins. In a large soup pot, soften the butter. Add the sliced onions and thyme bundle and cook over medium heat, until slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tsp of salt. Then add the reserved vegetable stock, mirin and soy sauce. If you want the soup to have more broth, add water. Cook about 5 more minutes and remove thyme bundle. Serve by placing one piece of bread topped with a sprinkling of Gruyere in a soup bowl, then add the soup overtop and the cheese will melt. Garnish with a few thyme leaves and fresh cracked pepper. Serves 8-10
Duration: 03:18. Last Updated On: 2015-09-11

Difficulty: Easy

Nutrition Information

Recipe Serves 8
Nutrition Information Based on a Single Serving
Amount Per Serving% Daily Value*
8.55% Complete
12.3076923077% Complete
7.33333333333% Complete
30.3913043478% Complete
12.4031007752% Complete
12.0% Complete
10.0% Complete
13.7254901961% Complete
*Percent Daily Value are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Dietary Needs

Lower Cholesterol
Lower Cholesterol
Lower Carbohydrate
Lower Carbohydrate
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