Vegetarian French Onion Soup

Once the temperature drops, the soup pot becomes a main staple of our kitchens. Warm, rich, and soothing, soups are an understated meal and side dish that we can’t get enough of. Typically, French Onion Soup is made with a rich beef broth, but we’ll tell you how we made this classic dish vegetarian.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 quarts vegetable stock
  • 12 dried shitake or porcini mushrooms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 6-8 yellow onions
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 baguette
  • ¼ minced parsley
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your Wolf Oven to 375° on the Convection Mode.
  2. In a large stock pot, add the vegetable stock, mushrooms, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Let simmer over medium heat.
  3. Begin cutting your onions by removing the top and slicing them in half. Peel off the paper-like outer layer. If you’re using large onions, slice into quarters. If you’re using smaller onions, leave them halved. Then begin thinly slicing them about a 1/8th of an inch thick.
  4. In a large sauté pan, add the butter, one tablespoon of olive oil, the onions, and a pinch of salt to the pan. Cover and let simmer over medium low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. At this point your onions should still be pale in color, but much more tender and translucent. Add half of the wine and all the sugar and stir frequently over medium to medium high heat. You will want them to gradually caramelize for about another 30 minutes.
  6. Once your onions are caramelized, add the flour and stir. Let cook for another 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, deglaze with the remaining white wine.
  7. Add the onions to a soup pot and begin slowly adding the vegetable broth to it. Using a ladle and a fine mesh strainer will give you control of how much you add and ensure that only the broth is being added to the onions. Stir well between broth additions.
  8. Let simmer another 30 minutes and season as needed with salt and pepper, but remember, the cheese will add saltiness at the end, so be sure not to over salt.
  9. Slice your baguette into ¼ to ½ inch crostini’s and brush with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Place on a sheet tray and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until crispy.
  10. To finish the soup, you will want to portion the soup into oven safe bowls, leaving at least ½ of room at the top of the bowl. Add a crostini and 2 tablespoons of gruyere cheese. Bake in your oven for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Remove from your ovens, the bowls will be hot as well.
  11. Garnish with fresh parsley, serve, and enjoy!

*Chef Tips*

This recipe can easily be converted back to a traditional French Onion Soup by using beef stock instead of the mushroom stock ingredients listed above and by using traditional Worcestershire sauce instead of vegan Worcestershire sauce. Worcestershire sauce is made using fish products, which doesn’t make it vegetarian friendly, but they do make a vegan version without any fish products.