- Food and Cooking
Vegetarian French Onion Soup
Vegetarian French Onion Soup
I love French onion soup, but it's almost always made with beef broth, and I'm a vegetarian. I have my own French onion soup recipe that is easy, vegetarian, and really yummy. Read on and learn how to make it yourself!
French Onion Soup Ingredients - Using vegetarian vegetable broth
This onion soup recipe is very simple, with no fancy ingredients and little prep work required. None of these measurements needs to be perfect. A little more or a little less of anything is no big deal with this soup. For best results, use a homemade vegetable broth.
- 2 quarts vegetable broth, homemade or from the store
- 2 pounds yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced (about 6-7 medium size, no need to be too precise)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- Salt & pepper
- Loaf of French bread, cut in one-inch slices
- Â½ pound Gruyere cheese, shredded or sliced
About the cheese - Use Gruyere for traditional French onion soup
DON'T SMELL IT!
I'm kidding. Mostly. Gruyere cheese is really stinky, but it's the traditional cheese for French onion soup, and I think it works best for this recipe. I don't even like Swiss cheese (and this is a particularly foul Swiss cheese), but I like it with the soup and encourage you to try it.
In the end, you can use whichever type of cheese you like, and I promise I won't judge. Unless you use Velveeta, because that's just wrong.
Equipment & Tools
No special equipment needed for French onion soup
You don't need any special equipment or tools for this recipe, and there are no fancy techniques used.
- Large pot or stockpot
- Wooden spoon
- Cutting board
- Oven-safe bowls
Oven-Safe Soup Bowls
You can actually buy French onion soup bowls, and I think you can even put cereal in them when they're not being used for soup. The specialty bowls look really nice for this soup and are great if you are serving it at a dinner party, but any oven-safe bowls will work fine for this recipe.
The recipe - Vegetarian French Onion Soup Recipe
This soup is easy to make, and there is not much you can do to mess it up. Just watch the onions when you're browning them to be sure they don't burn.
- Heat the oil in the pot over medium heat.
- Add the onions to the hot pot and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions should become soft but not yet browned.
- Add the sugar, salt, and pepper, and continue cooking for about 20 minutes. Stir frequently and lower the heat if necessary to avoid burning the onions. They should be golden brown and soft. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. (The onions should be fairly sweet at this point.)
- Add the garlic and broth and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes. You can keep the soup warm on the stove until ready to broil and serve, or allow it to cool and keep it in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- When ready to serve, heat the broiler and ladle the soup into individual oven-safe bowls.
- Top each bowl with a layer of bread, trimming slices if necessary to cover the entire surface.
- Cover the bread with the cheese. (Use sliced cheese and let it hang over the edges if you want the traditional messy French onion soup look and you don't mind scraping melted cheese off your bowls for hours later.)
- Heat under the broiler until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
Onion cutting tips - How to cut an onion without tears
Check out this video clip of the always-entertaining Alton Brown advising on cutting an onion without tears. (Goggles optional.)
Stockpots - Use a Large Pot for Making Soup
A large stockpot is helpful for making this soup and pretty much required for making homemade vegetable broth. You can make the soup with a smaller pot if you need to by cooking the onions in batches and then adding them all back to the pot before you add the broth.
Prep Tools - A good knife and large cutting board makes it easier
Any knife and cutting board will work, but it's nice to have a large cutting surface and one really good knife to work with. My favorite all-purpose knife is a Santoku, which has dimples on the sides of the blade that help to release the food, so you don't have to push each slice off the blade.
More Vegetarian Soup Recipes
The Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY, is a pioneer in vegetarian cooking since 1973. This is just one of their many bestselling cookbooks.