Reader Recipe: Onion surprise crunch

13 November 2012 - 14:15 By Food Weekly

You could win R500 by sending us your recipe, which we will test and photograph. This week's winner is Noy Pullen

I have always found French onion soup delicious, but too high in calories for a healthy way of eating, especially as I run a project called Agents for Change, for health professionals dealing with diabetes-related conditions. To make this light, crunchy soup, I allowed myself to be led by what I had in my kitchen as well as health considerations.

Serves 2


5ml (1 tsp) butter

5ml (1 tsp) olive oil

2 large onions, finely sliced

Handful almonds or macadamia nuts, chopped

5ml (1 tsp) mustard seeds

2.5ml (½ tsp) sugar

3 cloves garlic, crushed

500ml (2 cups) vegetable stock

15ml (1 tbsp) brandy (optional)

15ml (1 tbsp) sherry or white wine (optional)

1 large apple, cored and diced

1 baby marrow, coarsely grated


2 slices low-GI bread

5ml (1 tsp) butter

5ml (1 tsp) olive oil

1 clove garlic, cut in half


Heat the butter and oil in a deep pan and sauté the onions with the nuts and mustard seeds until the onions are transparent. Add the sugar and garlic and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add the stock, brandy and wine, if using, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the apple and baby marrow and heat through (the apple and marrow should still be a bit crunchy).

For the croutons, spread the butter and oil on one side of each bread slice and rub with the cut side of the garlic. Place under a hot oven grill until sizzling. Remove from the oven, cut into little squares and return to the oven to crisp the croutons.

Serve the soup with croutons sprinkled on top, garnished with snipped chives or other fresh herbs. You could also add grated cheese.

To enter, e-mail your recipe to with READER RECIPE as the subject. Tell us how, where, when and by whom it was invented and please state that it is an original creation that has not previously been published in any print or electronic form. Please note that published reader recipes may be used in other Times Media publications.