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This easy vegan french onion soup is so luscious and rich with caramelized onions.
Homemade Vegan French Onion Soup
I used to love the idea of french onion soup - but all those onions sent a chill up my spine. The broth is just so flavorful and delicious, the toasted baguette on top is just...well, it's bread. I'm DOWN for bread. Top anything with cheese and I'll try my best to love it. But onions? It took me a long time to really appreciate the texture of cooked onions.
Now though, I'm totally down for the onions. Especially rich caramelized onions. Oh, lord. They are the secret to making the best french onion soup!
Traditional french onion soup is made with beef broth and topped with dairy cheese (gruyere, fontina, or mozzarella specifically). This vegan version still has those deep flavors with no animals harmed.
The ingredients for french onion soup include:
- yellow onions
- vegan butter
- dry white wine (like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Pinot Gris)
- vegetable stock
- vegan Worcestershire sauce
- seasonings: bay leaves, sage, thyme, pepper, and salt
- baguette slices
- vegan cheese
How to Make Vegan French Onion Soup
Our first step is the step that will take the longest but is SO worth it: prepping and caramelizing the onions. Peel and slice the onions about ¼ inch thick. Melt vegan butter in a large pot then toss in the onions.
Saute for about 30 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are browned and caramelized. Add in the garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes.
Stir in the wine and deglaze the pan (scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan - this is key to getting a rich flavor!)
Add in the vegetable stock, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes. This will allow all the flavors to marry together.
In the meantime, take a baguette and slice it into ½ inch rounds. Brush each side with olive oil, then bake until toasted on each side.
Place 4 oven-safe bowls onto a sturdy baking sheet, then ladle the soup into them. Add a toasted baguette to the top of each bowl of soup, then add your vegan cheese on top.
What Vegan Cheese Should I Use?
If you have a favorite shredded vegan mozzarella cheese, go ahead and use that! Just be aware that most vegan cheeses to do not get melty or brown quite as dairy cheese does.
Can I Make French Onion Soup Without Wine?
Yes, absolutely. While the flavor will be different, the soup will still be very tasty without the wine. Simply substitute an equal amount of vegetable stock. For extra zip, you could also add in a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice as well.
How to Store French Onion Soup (Fridge and Freezer)
I recommend only broiling the soup if you are eating it immediately. Otherwise, store it in the fridge or freezer after simmering.
If storing in the fridge, whether you have leftovers or are making it ahead, this soup will last in an airtight container for up to 3 days. When you're ready to eat it, heat it back up on the stove. Then top with the baguette and cheese and broil as detailed in the recipe card.
To freeze, let cool completely then store in airtight containers. Freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge before heating it up.
If You Don't Have Individual Oven-Safe Bowls...
No worries! Instead, you can make cheesy toast by toasting the baguette as directed, then adding the cheese right on top of the slices and putting them back into the oven until melty. Ladle the soup into regular bowls then place the cheesy toast right on top! Dinner's served.
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Vegan French Onion Soup
- 3 pounds yellow onions - about 6 onions
- 4 tablespoons vegan butter
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- ⅓ cup dry white wine - optional, sub veg stock if needed
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon sage
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- salt to taste
- 4 slices baguette - (or other crusty bread)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- vegan cheese
- Peel and thinly slice the onions (about ¼ inch thick.)
- In a large, wide pan, melt the butter on medium-high heat. Add the onions and give them a good toss with the butter.
- Saute for about 30 minutes, or until caramelized. Stir frequently.
- Add in garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes.
- Stir in the wine. Deglaze the pan and scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom. Add the onions into a large soup pot.
- Stir in the vegetable stock, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, sage, thyme, pepper, and salt.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
- In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Brush each slice of baguette with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes, flipping halfway, or until brown and toasted.
- Ladle the soup into individual oven-safe bowls. Place a toasted baguette on top and then add vegan cheese.
- Broil until cheese is melty and browned, about 2-3 minutes.
Originally published in October 2016. Updated February 2020.