Cardio and Cooking: Poor Student's French Onion Soup

A few days ago, I joined a classmate in a drop-in cardio workout class super early in the morning, and I still feel a bit of the soreness. It's crazy how simple the movements are, and how much of a workout it is! The worst was when I got up the morning after. I was aching everywhere, and I dreaded having to go up or down any stairs throughout the day. But nonetheless, I'm still going to go again every week on Wednesday mornings at 7am! I felt great for the hour following, and then had to take a nap before doing anything else, ha...

(I really feel like I should rename this segment given that I don't always do cardio before cooking, but I'm getting back into it so, nahhh.)

After a long day, my roommate, Kaitlyn and I collaborated in making a poor student's version of French onion soup for dinner. She had gotten this ginormous plank of Black Diamond cheese that was on sale at Loblaws, and I came up with this idea to use some of it (after craving it on the way home).

Things I have learned today about French onion soup:
- Making an easy version of French onion soup doesn't have to cost a lot of time or money! Yay for students!
- Mozzarella cheese is probably the best cheese to use for things where cheese is on top and broiled, such as on French onion soup or pizza.
- According to Wikipedia (i.e. every instructor's dreaded source for students), French onion soup or Soupe a l'oignon is actually French in origin. Apparently, it just became popular in America during the 1960's when French cuisine became the newest dig. 
- Cheese really just makes everything better, but I didn't just learn that today. Mmm...cheeese...

Unmelted cheese...

Melted, gooey, stringy cheese goodness :)
 Poor Student's French Onion Soup
*Makes 2 standard ramekin servings*

Homemade Croutons (Kaitlyn's recipe)
1 slice of bread (we used Stonemill Multigrain Sourdough Rye)
Seasoning spice (we used Clubhouse Italian)
Olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Cut up a slice of bread into cubes, and place into a baking pan in a single layer.
3. Sprinkle seasoning over the cubes to your taste, and drizzle a bit of olive oil over them.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they start to dry up, then remove and turn them, and bake for another 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Be careful not to burn them. Timing will depend on your oven and the type of bread you use.
5. Remove from the oven and set aside until ready for use. Turn on the broiler.

The Soup
4 cups Campbell's bouillon broth 
1/2 Spanish onion
Black pepper
1 tsp margarine
1/3 cup grated marble cheddar cheese (mozzarella is the best, but cheddar is fine)

1. In a small-medium pot, boil bouillon broth, and set aside.
2. While the soup is boiling, slice your onion into thin strips.
3. Add margarine to a medium-sized frying pan over medium-low heat, and swirl the pan until the surface is evenly coated. 
4. Add the strips of onion, and toss until translucent and slightly browned and softened. Add pepper to taste.
5. Remove from heat, and place half of the cooked onion into the bottom of each ramekin, followed by half of the croutons, half of the broth, and top them with half of the grated cheese.
6. Place the ramekins on a baking pan under the broiler for 2 minutes or until the cheese bubbles. 
7. Remove from heat, and enjoy!

Remaining croutons can be used for salad after you realize you have only had onions, cheese, and croutons for dinner like so:

Simple layered single-serving salad with sliced Romaine lettuce, a diced Roma tomato, a drizzle of vegetable oil, a drizzle of Balsamic vinegar, a sprinkle of sliced almonds, and some homemade croutons. Yay for veggies!
Happy eating!


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