Light French Onion Soup


Sometime in 2009 or 2010, I figured out I was lactose intolerant. It was pretty much the crappiest thing I had ever heard about, but I tried my best to not eat dairy. Lo and behold, I felt better. I have experimented with eating a combination of lactose-free dairy and dairy substitutes, and so far, that has worked for me. I carry a bottle of lactase enzyme tablets in my purse for those occasions when dairy is inevitable or irresistible, and they keep me from getting as sick. As a result, modifications to my favorite stuff needed to be made so I wouldn’t feel deprived.

Here’s my fix for French onion soup. Enjoy! 🙂


Back row, l to r: Garlic powder, fennel, celery salt, beef bouillon, chicken broth, thyme, red wine, onions, water.

Front row, l to r: Parmesan cheese (which is hard and aged, has very little lactose), salt and pepper (portrayed by the lovely hippo sisters, Florence and Momo). Not pictured: Worcestershire sauce.

Slice your onions super-thin. Put them in the bowl of your crock pot. Add all the other ingredients (except for the cheese) and give it a stir.


  1. I used bouillon for the beef broth, so I upped the water to 5 cups and tossed in two bouillon cubes.
  2. Also, I dislike putting whole fennel seeds in my mouth, so I ground ‘em up a little in my mortar and pestle.


Ready to go! Let’s crock!  Put it on low for about 6 hours.


French onion soup, grilled cheese (made with Cabot extra sharp cheese), and a spiked orange soda. 😀

inspired by Eat 80/20

Light French Onion Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Soup
Serves: 4
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large white onions, sliced thin (~ 5 cups)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp celery salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1¼ cups Parmesan, shredded
  1. Slice onions, and place in crock pot with oil and spices.
  2. Add broth, wine, water, and Worcestershire, and let cook for a few hours on low, until onions are softened.
  3. To serve: ladle soup into a bowl, then immediately top with Parmesan cheese.

Optional: crusty bread cube garnish

  • 4 cups crusty bread cubes


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place bread cubes onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly brown and crispy.
  4. Use ‘em to top your soup.

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