Generally when i am cutting back the calories on a dish my first concern is if i will be satisfied after eating it, it is actually more like a moment of panic but you get the gist. I find that soups are the easiest meal planning item for me for lunch at the office. I can cook many servings in one go, they can be light and healthy yet satisfying, and i can store them in easy single serving containers in the fridge or freezer so that i am never caught without lunch. I usually have more than one soup option in the freezer on any given day so that things do not get to repetitive, but who am i kidding i only make stuff i love and can eat several days in a row without getting bored.
For several weeks french onion soup with it’s rich, dark, flavorful broth was something that i could not get off my mind. While i enjoy the molten cheese and bread floating on top it was surprisingly not my main focus this time, i figured the bread would get way to soggy or would require a lot of fiddly separate packaging and assembly at lunch. I have proven to myself that while prep and assembly is not a big deal i am prone to doing so once, possibly twice then deciding it’s to much trouble for a work day and ordering lunch instead. So of course the siren went off, without the cheese and bread would the beautiful broth be enough for a meal, how could i make it more filling but keep it on the low cal and healthy side. Many things came to mind, adding meat maybe, of course beef was the first and most obvious thought as chicken just wouldn’t be right but did i really want to go down that road. Tough overcooked and reheated beef is not my idea of delicious, what else could i possibly add that would fill me up.
One of my all time favorite ingredients and something that can be found in just about every single thing that i make is MUSHROOMS. Those little earthy fungi just do so much for me, i love the texture, the flavor, their meatiness, and their ability to add volume to a lightened up dish. I never follow a recipe to the letter EVER, well maybe when i bake but that’s a hard maybe. I can pretty much guarantee that my first adjustment to a recipe is to add mushrooms. I love food (you are shocked i know) and while at times i can eat a small amount of something delicious and be happy knowing that i had something amazing most of the time i want to feel full. Mushrooms bulk up a meal while adding another dimension to it at the same time, there was my answer. Not so french onion and mushroom soup, the gorgeous rich broth i wanted with the meatiness of the mushrooms and a sprinkle of low fat Havarti just because no cheese would be sacrilege. It was to die for, so good in fact that i ate it for one week straight, every day for lunch and then made a second batch and ate it every day the next week. Here is my recipe, if you try it let me know your thoughts.
For the love of food and life.