Cozy vegan French Onion Soup is a perfect winter meal. Let the onions simmer away for the afternoon and by dinner time you’ll have a delicious feast!
This post was originally published in December 2013. It received new pictures in November 2019. // As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Years ago, when Irving and I had cable, we used to watch America’s Test Kitchen (which I suppose is on PBS and not really cable, but we don’t even have bunny ears anymore!). We love the science behind why each of the recipes work they way they do. The recipes are literally run through a test kitchen and tweaked and tinkered with until they are just right. If you follow their directions, it will turn out every time. (If you don’t have it already, I highly recommend their Vegan For Everybody cookbook—buy it for the Banana Bread recipe alone!)
A Dutch Oven
Our mouths always watered when we watched, but one time they showed how to make French Onion Soup and Irving literally got up out of his chair, announced that we were going to the Le Creuset outlet to get a Dutch Oven pot, and making the soup that night. And we did. And this weekend Irving veganized it for us—it’s delicious!
^^^ I’ve had this pot longer than I’ve had my children!
Vegan French Onion Soup
Traditional French Onion Soup is made with a base of chicken and beef stock. However, vegetable stock works just perfectly. Onions are what give this soup the real flavor anyway. We like to use Imagine Foods No-Chicken broth!
Crispy Cheesy Bread Topping
Traditionally the soup is topped with slices of baguette and then loaded with Gruyere cheese. I use a vegan mozzarella cheese instead, or will even just top with a slice of garlic rubbed baguette. It’s delicious!
More Vegan Soup Recipes You’ll Love!
- Restaurant Style Vegan Lentil Soup
- Edamame Miso Soup from Awesome Vegan Soups
- Pumpkin Curry Soup
- Vegan Black Bean Soup
- Barley Minestrone Soup for Christmas Eve
- Carrot Soup
- Taco Soup
Kid Approved! Really!
David loved this soup! He gobbled up a whole bowl of it, with a side of Brussel Sprouts. Really? Really? I didn’t think kids were supposed to do that, but apparently they do! So let your kiddos surprise you and serve them up a big bowl of this too! The caramelization of the onions gives a really nice sweetness to this soup!
^^^ So sweet—he was just 2 in this picture!
Let’s Make Vegan French Onion Soup
Are you ready? Grab your Dutch Oven (or run to Amazon to order one) and let’s get cooking! Leave me a note in the comments letting me know how it turns out!
Vegan French Onion Soup
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 5 pounds yellow onions halved and cut “pole to pole” into long, 1/4 inch strips (6 or 7 big ones) (do not use Vidalia, Walla Walla, or other sweet varieties—they will be too sweet)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt divided
- 2 cups water plus extra for deglazing
- ½ cups dry sherry
- 4 cups veggie broth I like to use Rapunzel’s veggie bouillon cubes
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme tied with kitchen twine for easy removal from pot
- 1 bay leaf
- black pepper
- Baguette sliced into ½ inch slices
- Vegan mozzarella cheese optional
- 1 garlic clove sliced in half
- Adjust your oven rack so that your Dutch oven will fit. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place olive oil in bottom of pan and turn pan to coat with oil. Add onions and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, covered, for 1 hour (onions will be moist and slightly reduced in volume). Remove pot from oven and stir onions, scraping bottom and sides of pot. Return pot to oven with lid slightly ajar and continue to cook until onions are very soft and golden brown, at least 1 hour more (2 hours total, minimum), scraping pot again after 1 hour.
- Carefully remove pot from oven and place over medium-high heat. Using oven mitts to handle pot, cook onions, stirring frequently and scraping bottom and sides of pot, until liquid evaporates and onions brown, 15 to 20 minutes, reducing heat to medium if onions are browning too quickly. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until pot bottom is coated with dark crust, 6 to 8 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary. (Scrape any fond that collects on spoon back into onions.) Stir in 1/4 cup water, scraping pot bottom to loosen crust, and cook until water evaporates and pot bottom has formed another dark crust, 6 to 8 minutes. Repeat process of deglazing 3-4 more times, until onions are very dark brown. Stir in sherry and cook, stirring frequently, until sherry evaporates, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in veggie broth, 2 cups water, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, scraping up any final bits of browned crust on bottom and sides of pot. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove and discard herbs, then season with salt and pepper.
- For the bread: While soup simmers, arrange baguette slices in single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and toast under the broiler until golden brown. Remove from oven and rub each slice with an open side of a clove of garlic. Set aside.
- Set individual broiler-safe bowls on baking sheet and fill each with about 1 3/4 cups soup. Top each bowl with 1 or 2 baguette slices, garlic side down. If desired, sprinkle with veggie cheese. Place sheet into the oven and watch carefully, removing as soon as toast is golden and cheese is melted. Serve in the bowls, being very careful as they will be hot!
Check out this throw back from the original post in December 2013…
Side note: is it freezing where you are? Because it is here! And I know that the Seattle temps are mild compared to some other places in the country—my brothers and their wives all live in Chicago…brrrr—but it never gets much below 40 around here. And since it has been in the 20’s and my trusty jacket is an unlined rain coat it has been cold!!! This soup was a very welcome dinner this weekend!
^^^ Out with my favorite guys for a winter parade—our annual tradition of snowflakes and sushi! It’s not really snowing—it’s artificial—but it was certainly cold enough!