Soup’s on! And fortunately, all the soup [is] for you!
I’m having a serious moment with soup. When I don’t know what to make dinner, I’m frequently found checking the food closet for veggie broth so I can whip some up.
When I was a kid, there were three soups I went absolutely crazy for: Broccoli & Cheese, Chili, and French Onion. So when we were out to dinner a few years ago and they had french onion soup on the menu, I was super duper excited because I hadn’t had it in FOR-EV-ER. However, something told me to check the ingredients just to make sure it was veg-friendly.
Who knew that a soup made mostly of onions is made with beef broth? I mean, you probably knew because you’re a smartie. I’m probably very late to this party. But I was super surprised and went french onion soup-less that meal. Womp womp.
Luckily, one simply does not need beef broth when making a sweet and savory french onion soup. Oh no. You can make it compleeeetly vegan. All with a few special ingredients…
Starting with mushrooms! Woot woot. I love me some mushrooms. Like love love love. I like using baby bella mushrooms because they’re a bit meatier than those white button mushrooms. We’re going to simmer some vegetable broth with these baby bella mushrooms so that the broth becomes mushroomier, and therefore meatier.
Mushroomier is a fun word, no?
We’re also going to be doctoring up the broth with some red red wine. Fun, right?! If I’m being completely honest with you, Mark & I almost always have a box of red on our kitchen counter, so I just used a bit of that. It gives the broth that perfect rich brown color, and it adds some flava too. Yum yum.
And then. The caramelized onions. I would cover my entire life with caramelized onions if it was socially appropriate. I love them. So much. We caramelize a whole TWO pounds of white onions for this soup. So you know it’s going to be filled with deliciously sweet caramelized flava. Omg yes.
And then! French onion soup is begging for a crusty piece of bread smothered in some melty cheese on top. Choose gluten free bread and/or vegan cheese if you so desire! It all works beautifully.
I know you guys are going to loooove this soup. Enjoy, friends!
Vegan French Onion Soup
|Yield: serves 2-3 people
The classic sweet and savory soup...made vegan! Warm, comforting, and perfect for a cold winter night.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 lbs. sweet white onions, sliced thin
- salt + pepper
- 4 cups veggie broth (usually one carton)
- 10 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 3 large cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- 2 Tbsp. flour, gluten free if necessary
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup water
- 5 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and roughly chopped
- 2-3 pieces of bread, gluten free if necessary*
- shredded mozzarella or vegan mozzarella for topping, optional
- Add olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add sliced onion once the oil is hot, and toss to coat with a wooden spoon. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the onions are dark and caramelized, about 20-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add vegetable broth and sliced mushrooms in a medium pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon and discard. Set the broth aside.
- After your onions are caramelized, add the crushed garlic, and cook for about a minute. Then add flour, and stir to coat the onions. Cook for another minute.
- Add red wine and water to deglaze the pan. Allow to cook for 30 seconds to a minute, then add your thyme leaves and strained vegetable broth.
- Bring the mixture to a low boil, and cook covered for another 10 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary. I added some salt, a healthy pinch of freshly cracked black pepper, and some water to balance out the sweetness a bit.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Cut your bread into a somewhat thick circle. Coat with a bit of olive oil, and toast on a baking pan until crisp, 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
- When you're ready to serve, portion your soup into 2-3 oven-safe bowls. Top with toasted bread and shredded cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted, another 3-5 minutes.
*A baguette works great for this. Otherwise, you can use a piece of sandwich bread cut into a circle (which is what I did).