Vegetarianized Recipe: French Onion Soup

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I’ve been seeing this warming winter soup in lots of food magazines and blogs lately and realized I’ve never made it at home. Knowing that the broth is the chief ingredient that would make the vegetarianizing of this soup, I bought a few and did a very unscientific taste test with Pacific, Trader Joe’s and Imagine vegetable broths. I ended up using Pacific—had the most deep flavors. If you are concerned about sodium, opt for the low sodium broths. The cheese also makes this—spend a bit and go for an aged Gruyere—it’s worth every extra penny.

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Servings: 6
Time: About 20 minutes active; 90 minutes total

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter (I used plant-based)
3 pound onions, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon sugar and salt, each
3 tablespoons flour
8 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup sherry or red wine
1 teaspoon black pepper and dried thyme, each
1 bay leaf
Six 1″ pieces of French bread
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated

1. In a large soup pot, heat extra virgin olive oil and butter over medium low heat. Add sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 40 minutes. Add sugar and salt and cook 20 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

2. Then add flour and stir well to make sure all is incorporated, about 1 minute. Add broth, Worcestershire sauce, sherry, pepper, thyme and bay leaf, turn heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce back down to medium low, cover partially and cook 30 more minutes.

3. Meanwhile, toast bread in a toaster oven or broiler. While bread is warm, rub it with the garlic on both sides. Set aside.

4. When soup is ready, taste and adjust for seasonings. Turn oven broiler to high. Then ladle out the soup into six broiler-proof bowls or crocks. Top with garlic toast and divide up grated cheese. Place carefully on a cookie sheet and broil 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling, browning as much as you like. Serve hot with extra bread.

Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog, Vegetarianized.com, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all, tasty lifestyle.