Plant-Based French Onion Soup

I have always had a thing for sauteed onions. I love to cook them slowly with mushrooms and bourbon and add them to pizza’s and plant-based burgers and pastas and salads—my list goes on and on. And so, it’s only natural that I would also love French onion soup. Just the thought of those delicious, soft, flavorful onions and the melted cheese makes me salivate …

Making a plant-based version of this soup is pretty straight forward, at least when it comes to substitutions. First, use plant-based butter when sauteing the onions. And yes, I HIGHLY recommend using Miyoko’s European-style—it really does perform just like dairy butter. Second, replace the traditional beef stock with Pacific Foods organic low-sodium vegetable broth. The flavor is still sublime, what with the onions and all, and the sodium is lower so it’s a double win.

The secret to making French Onion Soup is the amount of time and patience you use when sauteing the onions.

As far as the onions themselves, I prefer using Walla Walla Sweets, but any yellow onion is fine. Just be sure when you cook them, you take your time and don’t use too high of a heat setting. Give yourself the full hour, it’s worth it!

About the cheese—yes, I used dairy cheese. Sorry, not sorry, but sometimes there’s just no substituting if you want an authentic taste and texture. And by using the vegetable broth and plant-based butter, this recipe definitely qualifies as plant-based … remember peeps, I’m not going for an all-or-nothing strict vegan approach, but you do you. Anyhoo, I couldn’t find Gruyère cheese, which is what this recipe traditionally calls for. But since Gruyère is a member of the Swiss family, I used a very good, aged Swiss and it was just perfect. So give this recipe a whirl while it’s still a bit cold outside. It’s a crowd pleaser for sure.

Plant-Based French Onion Soup

PREP TIME: 20 minutes | COOK TIME: 75 minutes

  • ½ stick Miyoko’s European-style vegan butter (keep the remaining half nearby in case you need to add more)
  • 4-5  large yellow onions, about 5 cups, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup white wine, nothing sweet
  • 1-2 TBS flour
  • 1 loaf crusty French bread
  • 1 ½ cups Swiss cheese, grated

Warm the butter in a large Dutch Oven or cast iron pan, over medium heat. Add sliced onions and cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Note, if you think there isn’t enough butter, just add some more. Slice the bread into 1-inch thick slices and broil for 4-5 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and just a bit crispy. Once the onions have cooked for about 45 minutes, add the flour and whisk until it begins to thicken then slowly add the broth and wine. Continue whisking until it reaches the right consistency, you don’t want it too thick so don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to add more flour. Take your time and be patient. Let the soup cook for another 10 minutes. Now, if you have special French-onion, oven-safe bowls, you can ladle in the soup, add the bread—soft side down—top with cheese and finish in the oven for 5-7 minutes. But, if not, no worries. I like to fill bowls half way, add the bread and cheese, then top with a little more soup. But you do you. Enjoy!

Creamy (vegan) Whiskey Sauce

Typically, a whiskey sauce calls for beef broth, lots of butter and heavy cream. But, I promise you, choosing plant-based options are just as fabulous and the sauce is absolutely divine.

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