Typically, this is made with a rich beef stock. When I removed meat from my diet many years ago, I was on a mission to find a great recipe for French Onion Soup that was vegetarian-friendly. After a LOT of trial and error, I came up with this recipe. It packs all of the flavor you’d expect, but a bit lighter than the traditional recipes.
The secret ingredient is patience – the onions take a long time to get brown and caramelized, so don’t rush this part. It’s what gives this soup the rich layers of flavor that you want. You can make the croutons and grate the cheese while the onions are cooking.
Also, swapping the beef broth with mushroom broth really gives a boost of flavor. I tried using vegetable broth but it fell flat. I love Pacific brand of mushroom broth – it has a really nice rich “meaty” flavor that you can’t get from regular vegetable broth.
Of course the decadence of this soup comes with the toppings – home made croutons from sourdough bread are a great alternative to slices of bread. You could substitute for any gluten free sourdough, or any bread of choice. I like using grated gruyere cheese instead of thick slices – it’s still decadent but a bit lighter than the traditional recipes.
Just a few minutes in the broiler and it’s ready – an ooey, gooey, golden bowl of perfection! The hardest part is waiting until it cools so you don’t burn your tongue. Hope you enjoy it!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 4 onions, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup red wine
- 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 quarts mushroom broth
- Sourdough bread, cut into cubes
- Cooking spray oil (avocado preferred)
- 1/2 pound grated Gruyere
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft, browned, and caramelized, about 45 minutes.
- While the onions are cooking, preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the bread cubes on the sheet. Spray with cooking spray. Bake until the croutons start to get crispy, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
- When the onions are caramelized, add the wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until most of the wine has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
- Coat the onions with the flour and stir to combine. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 more minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- When ready to serve, ladle into bowls placed on a lined baking sheet. Top with croutons and grated cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and golden.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 437Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 1278mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 15g
Nutritional information is an estimate and may vary per preparation.