Recently I decided to start making two new recipes a week. I have been building up a mini library of cookbooks and starred posts, yet I keep making the same dishes…or, more accurately, coming up with a random dish based on whatever I can find in my fridge.

I think it was when I started to dislike going to the grocery store (normally something I really enjoy!) that I realized that my shopping list needed to grow beyond “bananas, yogurt, veggies, fruit and Skinny Cow ice cream cups.”

The October issue of Health features recipes that take a basic boxed soup and turn it into something a bit more filling and complete. When I saw an adapted French onion soup, I knew this was the place to start!

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Also, the stats looked pretty good, especially for something that can be easily overloaded with cheese and bread.

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I took everything from the recipe and then cooked it Kate-style. The first night, I only made it for one as a tester. I love recipes that can be customized for single servings!

First, I chopped some red onion and shallots into long, skinny strings and PAM-cooked them over low heat until they were nearly translucent.

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While the onions were cooking, I shredded a 1 oz. serving of Comte cheese and cubed one serving of French bread (1/2 demi baguette), setting aside two small slices.

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The recipe called for Gruyere, but I LOVE Comte and it works really well with the rest of the ingredients. My mind was made up for me when the descriptor card at Trader Joe’s recommended it for onion soups!

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I poured one cup of Pacific organic French onion soup into a small saucepan and set to medium-low heat. Can I just say, this variety was so hard to find! I searched in many stores before finally finding it at the Santa Monica Co-op. Apparently Pacific Coast Greens in Malibu has it too.

The soup is basically a flavored broth, which makes for a great base but means adding ingredients is a must.

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To the broth, I added balsamic vinegar, fresh ground pepper and thyme, all to taste.

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Then I added the bread chunks and let everything soak together before adding the cooked onions and Comte cheese. While the cheese was melting, I threw two thin slices of baguette topped with a tiny bit of Comte from the shredded 1 oz. under the broiler. These were perfect for dipping!

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Everything about this soup was delicious! I didn’t even miss the broiled cheese crust, since it melted so smoothly throughout the bowl. The main thing I will change in the future is to add a lot more broth — and more onions. I was worried about overdoing it but the onions were super tasty.  Nearly every time I am at a restaurant with French onion soup on the menu, I have to order it. I’m so happy that I can recreate this anytime I want!

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