French Onion Soup: 1000 Calorie Counted Recipe Challenge

This part of my 1000 Calorie Counted Recipes Challenge, where I’m aiming to cook every recipe from The 1000 Calorie Counted Recipes by Carolyn Humphries. It’s an amazing book… but there are no pictures!


French Onion Soup| 100 calories per serving | Serves 2


  • 300g onions, thinly sliced*
  • 15g low fat spread
  • 300ml beef stock (made with 1 Oxo cube)
  • 2 very thin slices bread**
  • 15g grated cheese

*I felt this was too much, so would suggest cutting down to 200g
** I cut a circle of bread about 10cm in diameter, and I only had brown, but white would have been more authentic

How to Make French Onion Soup

  1. Melt the low fat spread, then fry the onions VERY gently for about 15 minutes – ideally with a lid on
  2. Uncover the onions, turn up the heat and cook for about 20 minutes
  3. Stir throughout, and cook till the onions are a deep, golden colour
  4. Add the stock
  5. Simmer the soup for about 15 minutes
  6. Season to taste
  7. Cut rounds of bread big enough to fit your soup bowls (ours are little rice bowls)
  8. Toast the bread on one side
  9. Flip the bread, sprinkle the cheese on and then toast the other side
  10. Serve the soup into the bowls, then pop the toasted cheesy bread on top

The Verdict

Flavour: 5
(1= flavourless, 5= delicious)

Satisfaction: 4
(1= unsatisfying, 5= satisfying considering low cal!)

Ease of Preparation: 4
(1= difficult, 5= easy)

Aftermath Factor: 4
(1= tons of washing up, 5= one pot wonder)

Oh yes, I liked this! It was a wonderful starter and felt quite naughty even though the portion size was controlled (we used small rice bowls and teaspoons). I love cheese, so this was a good way to get the flavour without having huge amounts.

I did feel the recipe called for way too many onions and so I’d reduce those next time so the onion to stock ratio was a bit more in favour of stock.

Quick, inexpensive, could probably be knocked together out of the cupboard and tastes very much like a treat. Definitely recommended.

Do you use smaller crockery and cutlery to control portion sizes? Do you think it fools the brain into thinking you’ve eaten more?

This part of my 1000 Calorie Counted Recipes Challenge <- click the link if you want to find out what it’s all about and see the recipes I’ve already tried. Please note that I tinker with recipe ingredients and meander from the method – the recipe above will deviate slightly from the original book and the method is just the way I happened to cook it this time!

2 responses to “French Onion Soup: 1000 Calorie Counted Recipe Challenge

  1. Lucy Miriam (@mistresslucille) August 4, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Ah you’ve reminded me of my love for onion soup; I haven’t made any since the time I accidentally ordered 3kg of onions from Sainsburys instead of three individual onions… Definitely be making this in the next week or so – om nom!

    • frolickingfoodie August 5, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Oooo, yes it’s good but not really a British staple! This lower cal version isn’t quite as good as the one I had in a Parisian restaurant, out on the pavement, which was oozing with melted cheese (sigh) but it’s not horrifically far off. Research also shows that people who eat a soup first tend to eat smaller portions for their main course. Win!

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