This is a quick and easy vegetarian recipe for a basic vegetarian French onion soup with just a few simple ingredients. It's not a super fancy recipe, but it really doesn't need to be. If your cupboard is nearly bare and you're wondering what to make for dinner tonight, try this soup along with a side salad and an artisan bread and you'll have yourself a complete meal.
Most French onion soup recipes rely on a strong beef broth, but using a strong and good quality vegetable stock will impart plenty of flavor. Any kind of vegetable broth will work just fine, but if you can find a vegetarian beef-substitute broth or vegetarian beef-flavored soup base, you may want to use that.
For a vegan version, use a non-dairy soy cheese and vegan margarine (or even olive oil) instead of the butter. Need this recipe to be gluten-free as well as vegetarian or vegan? Just check the ingredients on your vegetable broth, as some are gluten-free and some are not. Or, make your own homemade vegetable broth if you want to be certain.
- 1/2 pound onions, sliced into strips
- 2 tbsp butter or
- vegan margarine (I like Earth Balance brand)
- 5 cups good quality strong vegetable broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup grated cheese
- Brown the onions in the butter or vegan margarine in a large soup pot, allowing to cook well for at least 10 minutes, and up to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 10-20 minutes, you can add a little bit more butter or margarine and cook them for even longer, up to an additional 20 minutes if you have time, but you don't need to.
- Add vegetable broth, scraping the pot to get all the onion bits incorporated into the soup, then cover, and allow to simmer for at least 10 minutes.
- Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper, and add cheese, allowing it to melt slightly. Serve immediately.
Serving tip: Traditionally, French onion soup is served in individual bowls with a sliced baguette on top, covered in cheese, and broiled in the oven for about 10 minutes.