How to Make Plant-Based French Onion Soup

The presentation of classic french onion soup has that certain wow factor and is a fun one to serve company. It’s a recipe that is very simple to make, but to do it right, requires a long cook time. Now you can make it just as good without the beef stock or dairy!

Recipe tips and tricks:

The onions: The important part here is to cook the onions on the lowest heat possible so that the sugars have time to caramelize to maximum sweetness. If I am making this soup for lunch, I will often start the onions at breakfast. If you can’t get your heat low enough to set it and forget it, add 1/2 cup of water and check on them every so often. I usually keep the lid on the pot while my onions are going to lock in the heat.

The Cheese: Prairie Melt works beautifully to create that bubbly french onion soup top you would expect. Crumbling Prairie Melt over top before broiling it in the oven works great. Alternatively, you can place some Prairie Melt in a piping or plastic bag, cut the corner and generously pipe Prairie Melt in a spiral to cover the whole top of the bowl. You can low broil the soup in the oven, or to save time, you can place the bowl in the microwave for 2 minutes before broiling. The microwave melts the cheese quickly, so all you need is a few minutes of browning in the oven.

Other Unique Ingredients: The combination of miso paste, soy sauce and nutritional yeast in this recipe gives the depth of flavour that a beef stock traditionally does. Miso paste is usually found in the asian section of any grocery store and nutritional yeast may be found in the bulk or organic section. Nutritional yeast isn’t carried everywhere, so depending on where you live, you may need to order it online.

Presentation: A smaller french onion soup bowl tends to present nicer because it is easier to get the cheese melted over the entire top of the bowl. Once it’s hot and bubbly out of the oven, I like to garnish with a bit of greenery like micro-greens, parsley or chives.

Variations: This recipe can be made gluten free by swapping out the toasted baguette slice for a gluten free variety and by using a gluten free soy sauce.

French Onion Soup

  • 3 large white or yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 2 tbsp miso paste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized pot, cook onions and garlic on very low heat until well caramelized. This can take up to 3 hours.
  2. Once the onions are ready, deglaze the pot with the white wine and add the thyme and poultry seasoning. Stir in the miso paste until no clumps of miso remain.
  3. Mix in the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. To serve, fill soup cups with soup and garnish with a toasted baguette slice. Pipe or crumble a generous amount of Prairie Melt over top and broil the soup on low until cheese melts and begins to brown.

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