1. Peel onion and cut into quarters, then cross cut quarters to form narrow semi-circle slices.
2. In a 4-quart pot melt butter and sauté onion 10 minutes, or to caramelize onion, add 1 teaspoon sugar and continue to cook for 10 minutes until golden brown.
3. Stir in Chicago Bistro French Onion Soup Mix and stir 30 seconds.
4. Add broth, apple cider or juice and Worcestershire.
5. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 40 minutes.
6. Serve as is or may top each bowl with croutons and Gruyere cheese.
To boost vegetables, add 1 ½ cups chopped mushrooms and/or 1 cup chopped yellow squash in final 10 minutes of cooking.
To boost fruit, add 1 chopped apple with soup mix and prepare with 100% apple cider.
To cut saturated fat, prepare with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon butter rather than 3 tablespoons butter to sauté onions. Skip the optional cheese topping, and top with chopped green scallions or chopped chives. For the Inventive Variations suggestion on the package and website, prepare with 12 ounces extra lean ground beef stew meat.
To cut sodium, skip optional croutons, halve the amount and prepare with reduced sodium Worcestershire sauce, and prepare with low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.
Start the French onion soup recipe as directed but add 1 to 2 pounds of beef stew meat and sauté with the onions. Add French onion soup mix and only 4 cups broth. Cover and simmer and low about 1.5 hours until meat is tender. Cut up 2 large potatoes and add for 30 additional minutes of cooking time and serve a healthy stew.