Recipe Tips And Notes
- Adjust the amount of sugar: I like to add just enough for a very subtle sweetness. However, feel free to adjust the amount to personal taste.
- Dont over-brown the onions: or you may end up with an overly bitter soup. Instead, feel free to taste the onions while caramelizing to find your desired level .
- Dont over broil the cheese: if its still primarily golden and just beginning to bubble, then it will still be gooey and melty. Make it more browned/crispy, and youll miss out on the gooeyness.
- Cut the onions uniformly: that way, theyll caramelize evenly too. Using a mandoline to slice the onions can help for consistent results.
- Dont rush the soup: possibly the most crucial tip of all. This vegetarian French onion soup is all about the rich flavor from the slowly caramelized onions, so dont try any shortcuts!
The Key To Vegetarian French Onion Soup: Homemade Broth
Heres one important thing to note. Vegetable broths and stocks vary widely in flavor and quality. Try it in a French onion soup, and most purchased veggie broth comes out sweet: not savory like youd expect! Trust us, we tested a few times and it did not taste right.
Heres what youll have to do: make a homemade vegetable broth! It might sound like overkill, but it makes for just the right flavor. When Alex and I tried it with this homemade broth, we were amazed by the flavor. Dont skip this step!
Of course, if you want a classic French onion soup: just use beef broth! You can make the same recipe without that step and of course, it tastes great too.
Caramelizing Onions: A Few Tips
The main time-consuming step for vegetarian French onion soup is caramelizing the onions! Sure, you can saute onions in about 10 minutes. But to get them fully dark brown and caramelized takes about 1 hour. Here are the basic steps, and a graphic that shows the color of the onions each phase!
- Thinly slice the onions.
- Sauté the onions in butter for 10 minutes on medium high.
- Reduce the heat to medium low, add salt and saute for 40 to 45 minutes until deep brown and very soft.
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Ingredients You Need To Make Vegetarian French Onion Soup
- Butter: Ideally high fat, European style butter, but any salted or unsalted butter you have on hand will work.
- Onions: Yellow onions, sweet onions, or red onions all work well.
- Bread: A crusty French bread or peasant bread with the crust removed, or cubed French baguette work well in this recipe.
- Flour: white all-purpose flour
- Thyme: dried thyme leaves or twice the amount of fresh thyme leaves
- Wine: Any dry white wine will do. Be sure to choose one that you’d happily enjoy a glass of as the flavor will concentrate as it cooks down.
- Broth: mushroom broth
- Cheese: Gruyère cheese or French Comté cheese or other Swiss Cheese
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
The rest of the ingredients here are classic, based on my go-to French Onion Soup recipe adapted from Julia Child’s iconic book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Buttery sweet caramelized onions and earthy thyme simmer in white wine and flavorful broth then get spiked with a splash of cognac and finished with toasted bread and plenty of hot, bubbly cheese. So in most ways this is still a traditional French onion soup. It’s mainly the mushroom broth that’s different, as a substitute for the typical umami-rich beef stock.
Though this soup requires some time at the stove, the prep work is easy. And, for much of the cooking time the soup cooks itself low and slow in a Dutch oven. If you’ve been on the hunt for a vegetarian version of this quintessential French soup, I hope you’ll give this one a try.
How To Stop Crying When You Cut Onions
There are a lot of tricks out there that can help minimize the crying that comes along with cutting onions. One is to stick your onions in the freezer. Another is to soak the onions in cold water.
I prefer to wear snowboard or swim googles. My nose gets a bit stuffy, but my eyes dont burn for the rest of the day.
I also open a window and point a fan at it, so all of the onion fumes go right outside. Even in the dead of winter, I have that fan on and the window open.
Give it a try and let me know if you have any fabulous tricks to cutting onions.
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Get The Same Ingredients For This Vegan Gluten Free French Onion Soup Recipe
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As always, if you make this vegan and gluten free French onion soup recipe be sure to leave me a comment, rate this recipe, and tag me so I can feature you. I love seeing all your photos of my recipe recreations!
Lets keep in touch make sure to to get fresh recipes weekly. And dont forget to follow over on , & Id love to connect with you there!
Homemade Mushroom Stock Ingredients:
FYI you dont have to make your own stock for this recipe. In a pinch, boxed stock will totally work. That being said, it is actually very easy to make from scratch and I do think the flavor makes it worth the extra trouble. I have included my mushroom stock recipe below in case you want to give it a go. The ingredients youll need are mushrooms , onion, garlic, carrot, thyme, parsley, cold water, salt, and pepper.
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Toppings For Vegetarian French Onion Soup
Traditional French onion soup is served over toasted bread and topped with gruyere cheese. If youve never had gruyere, try not to judge by the taste and smell on its own. Its a somewhat stinky cheese, but pairs perfectly with the richness of the soup.
The last time we made this, we had homemade baguettes from this recipe. Talk about easy and delicious! You can also buy crostinis from the store.
At restaurants, they finish French onion soup by covering the top in cheese and broiling it in the oven before serving. Unfortunately, we dont own any appropriate dishes to do this. Instead, we toasted the baguettes with the cheese on top to melt them, and then put them in the soup.
There you have it! The best vegetarian French onion soup recipe youll find. Let us know in the comments if you try this recipe, and what you think!
Vegetarian French Onion Soup Recipe
This vegetarian French onion soup recipe is sweet, flavorful, & elegant. Loaded with soft yellow onions, good white wine, French herbs, and vegetable stock.
Top this soup with a thick slice of homemade sourdough bread and heaps of gruyere cheese for a gourmet meal ready in no time. Serve with a side salad or main course to make this a complete dinner everyone at the table will love.
This post and recipe is sponsored by Wolf Gourmet. They kindly sent me their Multi-Function Cooker and I created this recipe using this wonderful tool!
If youre looking for a gourmet appetizer for your next dinner party or gathering, this vegetarian French onion soup is the perfect starter. Its salty, sweet, gooey, cheesy, and couldnt be easier to make in the Wolf Gourmet Multi-Function Cooker. This appliance does it all: sautés the onions to a deep caramelized brown, then slow cooks the rest of the soup until youre ready to serve.
I love how hands-off this recipe is, the multi-cooker does all the work! This French Onion soup is the perfect meal to serve to guests, as you can make it hours before and let the flavors slow-cook until youre ready to serve. Because the chef deserves to enjoy the dinner party too.
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For The Bread Topping:
For classic French Onion Soup, you cook everything, ladle it into oven proof bowls and then top it with toast French bread and sprinkle on the cheese before broiling it in the oven to get the cheese melted.
HOWEVER: if youre wanting to skip that step for whatever reason, you can melt the cheese on the toast before placing it on top of your bowl of soup. And then completely skip the broiling process. I really like the classic method but this is definitely a little easier.
AND thats it! This is overall SOUPer easy to throw together and legit one of my favorite soups on the blog!
As usual, if you end up making this recipe PLEASE please please tag me in a pic on !
- Total Time:1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield:4 servings 1x
How To Make French Onion Soup:
Once your onions are caramelized and ready to go, simply:
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Do You Need Alcohol To Make Vegetarian French Onion Soup
This vegetarian French onion soup recipe does not call for any alcohol. Traditional French onion soup calls for either wine or sherry, which is used to bring out and enhance the beef flavor of the broth. However, because this recipe uses mushrooms for the broth, they are rich enough as is that they do not need any alcohol.
How To Caramelize Onions:
The first step to making traditional French onion soup is to transform that big pile of raw onions into the decadent, sweet, and irresistibly caramelized onions that will form the rich base of this recipe. Caramelization is actually a really simple process, but it does take some time. So turn some music on, maybe pour yourself an extra glass of that white wine we will be using, and get ready to spend some quality time by the stove as we work some onion magic.
To make the caramelized onions, simply melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add your onions, and toss so that they are coated in the butter. Let them cook for about 5 minutes, until they start to turn a bit golden on the bottom, and then give them a stir. Repeat for another 5 more minutes, then give them another good stir. Then continue this rhythm stirring the onions every 3-5 minutes or so initially, then every 1-2 minutes near the end until the onions have caramelized into a rich chestnut brown color. Then stir in a half cup of wine to fully deglaze the bottom of the pan once the onions are ready to go.
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What To Serve With French Onion Soup
Like most soups, there are several ways you can enjoy this vegetarian French onion soup, whether alone or with a side, including:
- A simple leafy green salad like Caesar salad or this simple kale salad.
- A grilled cheese or sandwich .
- With simple veggie sides like sauteed green beans, broccoli, sauteed spinach, sauteed mushrooms, etc.
You can also use leftovers to help make dishes like French onion soup burgers or topped hotdogs!
Vegetarian French Onion Soup
Now that we have finally gotten deeper into heavy winter weather , we wanted to warm you up with a delicious soup recipe. If youre like us, you probably love the warm, comforting taste of a hot bowl of soup when its chilly outside. I know that the colder it gets, the more I crave something warm and flavorful!
Theres 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, Im not always in the mood for them. Theyre 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!
Hope you enjoy it!
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Vegetarian French Onion Soup Health Benefits
Our Vegetarian French Onion Soup recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of leeks can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlics myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.
Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins: riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. The combination helps protect heart health.
Rich in energy-boosting manganese and anti-inflamatory phytochemicals, thyme may help keep your blood and immune system healthy.
Animal Products Common In French Onion Soup
The soup has evolved quite a bit over the years. It tracesback to ancient origins, but fell out of popularity in the US until it surfacedagain in the 1960s when it gained popularity due to a greater interest inFrench cuisine.1
In food preparation, meat stock refers to an animal-derived flavoredliquid preparation thats used as a base for several dishes, like soups,sauces, and stews. Making stocks entails simmering meat or animal bones .2
This one is off-limits for both vegans and vegetarians.
I wasnt too surprised by this ingredient. Onion soup is alot like onion gravy, which often makes use of beef in one form or another.
This isnt a super common ingredient in mix these days, butyou will run across it in restaurants and canned goods. For example, ProgressoFrench Onion soup contains:3
- Beef Fat
The butter alone would make it non-vegan.
Egg and Milk Products
Even when not made with meat stock, French onion soup isoften made with milk and/or egg which would render it to be suitable only forovo-lacto vegetarians.
A lot of French onion soups contain meat, eggs, and dairy. Theaforementioned Marketside and Progresso soups both contain butter which is acombination of dairy cream and salt.
Thankfully for vegans, egg is used as a thickener and isincreasingly being replaced by plant-based thickeners such as flour andcornstarch.
Cheese is another milk product to look out for becauseFrench onion soup is often gratinéed.5,6
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How To Make Vegetarian French Onion Soup
Step 1: Add onion to melted butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven and stir to coat. Cover and cook on low 15 minutes.
Step 2: While the onion cooks, toast the bread cubes until crisp on a baking sheet in a 400F oven. Set aside.
Step 3: Remove cover and add salt and sugar to onions. Increase heat to medium-low cook and stir until the onions have caramelized to a deep, golden brown.
Step 4: Stir flour into caramelized onions cook and stir 3 minutes. Stir in thyme, wine, and mushroom broth. Bring to simmer and cook 30 to 40 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in Cognac and kosher salt and pepper to taste.
Step 5: Ladle soup into bowls and top with toasted bread cubes and cheese then place under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve.
Deglaze Season And Simmer
When the onions have caramelized to a golden brown color, add in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Next, deglaze with the dry sherry. Continue stirring until most of the sherry is evaporated then add the thyme, Worcestershire, vinegar, and mushroom stock. Simmer on low for 20-30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
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