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Vegetarian French Onion Soup

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

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Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Stir until the onions are coated with oil. Add the salt, sugar, and red wine, and stir. Cook until onions are soft, about 10 minutes, stirring ocassionally to keep the onions from burning.

Add the parsley and thyme and pour in the vegetable stock, bringing it to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, add the coffee, turn the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 25-30 minutes.

To serve, place a handful of cubed bread in the bottom of your soup bowl. Ladle the desired amount of soup into the bowl, and spread the cheese across the top. Serve, and enjoy!

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

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I&rsquove been LOVING soup this winter (like more than usual) and this Vegetarian French Onion Soup has really been hitting the spot lately! It&rsquos relatively easy to make and so ridiculously comforting. You can make it with or without the cheese so leave it off if you&rsquore wanting a vegan version of this delicious soup!

And if you&rsquore looking for other delicious vegan soups, this Chickpea Noodle Soup is one of my FAVS as well as these: Vegan Butternut Squash Soup, Alphabet Vegetable Soup, Moroccan Chickpea Soup.

A few months ago I found myself HARD CORE craving French Onion Soup. Naturally, I ended up creating my own Vegetarian version of this classic soup and figured that I would share it on my blog! While it takes a bit of time to caramelize the onions, it&rsquos simple to make and PERFECT for cold winter dinners!

Truthfully- this was a recipe that took little effort to make vegetarian. It&rsquos really just a matter of replacing the beef broth and finding small ways to really substitute that flavor and classic color.

I never used to make french onion soup at home until the past few years and it&rsquos just SO COMFORTING! Like chicken noodle soup as a kid level of comfort and I am HERE FOR IT.

As written, this soup serves 4 but those are larger portions. If desired, you could easily make this into a 6 servings soup and serving it as an appetizer or side dish with a meal.

Vegetarian French Onion Soup - Recipes

There’s no more satisfying dish than a French Onion Soup in the colder months. This one is the vegetarian version, and it’s so tasty you’ll never know the difference. It’s simple, it’s packed with flavour and made with few ingredients. The cheese croutons can be made with any stale bread. The caramelized onion flavour is what makes this dish so popular. No need for chicken or beef stocks. And if you don’t like wine, then use apple cider. French onion soup is popular around the world with good reason. Traditionally made from a meat stock, caramelised onions, and loads of melted Gruyère cheese on croutons. This soup goes back to the Roman times and was seen as food for the poor as onions were cheap and in abundance. Today you still find it in fine dining establishments and is considered as the ultimate in comfort food, especially on cold Winter days.


    2lb - 1kg Brown onions (approx 6-7 medoium) 2 celery sticks ¼ cup all purpose (plain) flour 3 tbsp of butter 1 tbsp olive oil 3 garlic cloves 2 cups of dry white wine (or apple cider) 2-3 sprigs of thyme 2 bay leaves 2 pints -1 litre water 200g - 7oz. Gruyère cheese (grated) Bread for croûtons, approx 8 slices. Salt and pepper


Slice your bread fairly medium thin, place on baking tray and bake in oven for approx 20-30 min at 300°F – 150°C or until toasted.

Peel and slice the onions.

Add the olive oil and butter to a large thick bottomed pot on low heat. Add the onions and mix well. Add the minced or grated cloves of garlic. Mix well and let the onions sweat on low heat.

Wash and finely chop two celery sticks, add to onions. Continue to c ook on gentle heat for approx 30 minutes or until onions are all nicely caramelised. Scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon every few minutes to avoid burning.

Add the flour, mix well and let it cook for two minutes as you mix so it doesn’t catch on the bottom (add a little less flour in you prefer less thick). Deglaze with white wine (or apple cider) mix well until it thickens. Add salt, pepper, bay leaves and water, simmer gently for 20-30 minutes. Mix it every 10 minutes or less to ensure it doesn’t burn on the bottom.

Remove bay leaf and and thyme. Pour soup into oven proof soup bowls, top with croutons and add the cheese. Bake in hot oven or for 15 minutes or grill under broiler full heat.

How to Make Vegetarian Onion Soup Video

Now that we have finally gotten deeper into heavy winter weather ( thank you winter storm Jonas!), we wanted to warm you up with a delicious soup recipe. If you’re like us, you probably love the warm, comforting taste of a hot bowl of soup when it’s chilly outside. I know that the colder it gets, the more I crave something warm and flavorful!

There’s something special that only a steaming bowl of soup can offer when snow is falling outside. As much as I love tomato-based and vegetable soups, I’m not always in the mood for them. They’re of course great, but after we have had weeks of winter, I usually have exhausted my collection of favorite cold-weather comfort food recipes, and there are only so many ways to approach vegetable or tomato soups in their traditional forms.

As I was thinking about new soup ideas, my cousin Adriana came to mind. Growing up in Barcelona, our cousins were practically the only family we had, and they became more like siblings to us than anything else. Adriana is our youngest cousin and even has a child had the most spunky, witty personality. Being around her always meant a guaranteed laugh and there was never a dull moment with her. Luckily for us, she now lives in New York City, and we always look forward to her visits.

As a child, Adrianna LOVED vegetarian French onion soup, and always ordered it when we were out if it was available. She also despises the cold weather, so you can see where our inspiration came from!

Now as you probably know, French Onion soup is traditionally made with a beef broth or beef stock base. With that as a key ingredient, most recipes put this soup out of the running for us. However, we were determined to create a vegetarian alternative that would be just as savory and delightful as the original inspiration.

What people often look for in French Onion Soup is richness. We believe we’ve mastered that with this recipe, and the inclusion of cheese allows us to stay close to the roots of this dish. We chose Sincerely Brigitte's Tarragon Ginger cheese to make it super rich, creamy and, just like our dear cousin, a little spicy. Combining all of the ingredients should provide you with a deep, full flavor that is perfect for keeping you and your family warm on the freezing days which are still on their way!


The Best Vegetarian French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is traditionally made with beef broth – a fact that drove me crazy while growing up vegetarian. This recipe captures all the intense flavor of the original using vegetable broth.

The technique is taken from Cook’s Illustrated and is absolutely perfect. While it still takes several hours to perfectly caramelize the onions, beginning in the oven reduces the number of deglazing cycles and active time. The extra time is utterly worth it. The final result is a rich, sweet, and intensely flavorful broth. Like, crazy flavorful. Like, as much as you might want to, you won’t be able to eat more than a bowl in a sitting or your tastebuds will explode.

After much research, I bought these adorable onion soup crocks on Amazon and couldn’t be happier. They’re the perfect size to hold an entree serving of soup, stand up to the broiler, and are dishwasher safe.

You’ll start with a pot filled to the brim with raw onions but they’ll reduce significantly as they caramelize. Be sure to use yellow onions – white or sweet onions would make the already sweet soup cloying.

I replaced the Emmental with a low fat Swiss to cut back on the calories but this soup is so rich and savory on it’s own that it really doesn’t need the cheese or crouton. Leave off the cheese and swap out olive oil for the butter to make this vegan. Or skip the crouton for a hearty gluten-free, paleo-friendly meal.

This soup tastes even better a day or two after cooking making it an ideal make-ahead dish.

Key Ingredients For This Vegetarian French Onion Soup

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions are dreamy in every which way – the sweet and rich flavor is something we wish we had in every meal. The only downfall is that they take forever to make. Thanks to the onions, plan for this recipe to take between and hour and an hour and a half.

If you like caramelized onions as much as we do, here’s an idea: make a huge batch and store them in the fridge for the rest of the week. Since they’re so time consuming, you might as well get the most out of it and enjoy them as long as possible.

Caramelized onions are absolutely excellent on sandwiches, toast, or grilled cheese. Apart from that, they basically go well on any warm dish that could use some extra flavor. Pasta, pizza, salad, grains, once again grilled cheese, quesadillas, omelettes – the possibilities are endless.

But back to the soup… cut up your onions and throw them in a large pan with butter. Mix or stir them occasionally. Sprinkle the brown sugar in once they start to turn brown. Other than that, remember that patience is key with caramelizing onions.

Baby Bella Mushrooms

Once you go baby bella, you never go back! They are so incredibly flavorful, rich, and meaty. Boring old white button mushrooms are a permanent thing of the past after your first recipe using baby bellas.

Wash them, dry them, and slice them. Start cooking them in your soup pot after you add the brown sugar to your onions. The olive oil helps keep the mushrooms from sticking to the bottom of the pot, otherwise they don’t need much else to get going.

These mushrooms hold an incredible amount of water. When heated, the water is released, along with some of the savory flavor they hold. To keep this flavor for your soup, keep the cover on your pot! You don’t want these yummy juices to evaporate.

Once the mushrooms have shrunk (you’ll be able to tell), add garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and paprika. Mhmmm, take in the sights and the smells.

After a few minutes, add the flour and mix thoroughly. The flour will thicken your mushroom mixture and provide a little extra volume.

It’s important to add the flour before any broth, so you can get any small clumps out. Nothing’s worse than finding chunks of flour in your finished product. The next step is to add the vegetable broth to the mushroom mixture, along with the thyme and pepper. Cover and let heat up until simmering, about 10 minutes.

Aside from being delicious, this vegan french onion soup recipe has nourishing and healing properties

Give it a try, you’ll be surprised at how much it tastes like the original. I prefer a few big white or yellow onions in this soup but you can use any combo of onions you have on hand—they all become sweet when cooked down and caramelized.

The hands-on time for this recipe is really limited most of the time it takes is spent on the stove without your help. It’s the perfect thing to make on a weekend afternoon while you’re doing other chores around the house. It makes your kitchen and house smell amazing.

Is French Onion Soup Vegetarian?

French Onion Soup is traditionally prepared with butter, wine, onions, Swiss cheese, sourdough baguette and beef stock.

You can transform the classic French soup recipe into a vegetarian friendly dish by substituting beef stock with mushroom broth or vegetable broth.

One of the most distinct aspects of an authentic French Onion Soup flavour profile is umami. The Japanese word describes “savouriness” and is one of the five basic tastes.

In a traditional recipe, caramelized onions combine with dry or fortified wine and rich beef stock to provide a salty taste on the tongue. Our easy Vegetarian French Onion Soup recipe also features the desirable umami flavour thanks to the addition of mushroom broth and vegan Worcestershire sauce. You can also add a few drops of soy sauce to liven up the flavours.

We prefer using mushroom stock as it mimics beef broth in that it has a dark appearance and is similarly rich in umami. You can also use vegetable stock if that is what you have available or prefer.

You can buy mushroom stock at most grocery stores or health food stores. Or, if you like tinkering in the kitchen, why not make your own homemade mushroom stock?

Looking to enjoy a Vegan French Onion Soup recipe? You’ll need to substitute butter for olive oil and gruyere cheese for your favourite vegan cheese. Just make sure the vegan cheese product you purchase has melting properties so it oozes and gets stringy like mozzarella or gruyere.

Top Vegetarian French Onion Soup with sourdough bread cubes and sprinkle with shredded Gruyere Cheese.

Recipe Summary

  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 large onions, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 2 bunches scallions, white and light-green parts coarsely chopped (about 3/4 cup), dark-green tops thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs thyme, plus leaves for serving
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 1 1/4-inch-thick slices sourdough bread
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere (about 4 ounces)

Melt butter in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, chopped scallions, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently and gradually lowering heat to prevent scorching, until onions are soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir in mushrooms season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping browned bits from bottom of pan, until mushrooms have released most of their moisture, about 15 minutes. Stir in 4 cups water and bring to a boil reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf season with salt and pepper.

Preheat broiler with rack 6 inches from heating element. Divide soup among 4 ovenproof bowls. Top each with a bread slice sprinkle with cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and golden brown in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and scallion tops.

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

This easy vegetarian French onion soup recipe is deliciously sweet and tasty and is a real comfort food, very suitable for warming you up on a cold winter evening.

Soupe à l&rsquooignon obviously originated in France and was a cheap food as the ingredients were easy to get hold of.

The traditional version would normally use a beef or chicken stock or broth, but we have used a vegetable stock so that my recipe is a French onion soup for vegetarians.

This is an easy French onion soup to make. It has no special ingredients, just a mix of onions, wine, vegetable stock and some garlic.

The sound of &lsquogarlic and onion&rsquo soup makes one imagine it would have the strong taste of onion, but actually it does not &ndash through the caramelization process and the use of some red onions it is really quite sweet tasting.

The mix of the sweetness and the cheese and onion toasties really goes well together I think.

A real French version would probably use a Gruyère cheese or something similar, but I think the cheddar cheese also goes well, especially with the added garlic in the butter.

Meal Prep idea

I have found that this meal tastes even better if made before and kept in the fridge overnight, and warmed up in a pan the next day.

It also freezes very well, which makes it a great meal prep recipe. Make a large batch and keep it in single portions in your freezer in bags.

Easy to warm up during the week when you may not have much time to cook.

I think this must be the easiest of soup recipes that I know. And if you want to make a vegan French onion soup version, then just leave out the floating garlic cheese toasties and you are sorted!