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LOW-FAT COOKING/DONNA DEANE

Reduced Onion

January 21, 1998|DONNA DEANE | Deane is dircetor of The Times Test Kitchen

There are two basic ways to cut the fat out of traditionally high-fat dishes: Adjust the cooking technique or adjust the ingredients. In the case of baked onion soup, the wide availability of low-fat cheese and nonfat chicken broth means a dish that would normally contain 14 grams of fat per serving can be reduced to 9 grams.

The soup doesn't take long to make. And when baked in casseroles topped with slices of French bread and cheese, it tastes great--especially on a rainy January day.

BAKED ONION SOUP (UNDER AN HOUR)

4 cups sliced onions (about 2 large onions)

Nonstick cooking spray

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans beef broth

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can nonfat low-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons dry Sherry

Salt, pepper

12 small slices French bread

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup grated low-fat Monterey Jack cheese

Saute onions in large stockpot sprayed with nonstick cooking spray over medium-low heat until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Add garlic during last five minutes of cooking.

Stir in beef broth and chicken broth. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes to blend flavors. Stir in Sherry. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Divide soup into four individual casseroles or oven-proof soup bowls. Lightly toast French bread and arrange three slices on top of soup in each casserole. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese over each, then 1/4 cup Jack cheese. Bake at 375 degrees about 30 minutes or until bubbly and soup is brown on top.

4 servings. Each serving:

404 calories; 1,707 mg sodium; 22 mg cholesterol; 9 grams fat; 52 grams carbohydrates; 23 grams protein; 0.53 gram fiber.

*

Plates and napkins from Bristol Kitchens, South Pasadena.

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