Eat Well: French Onion Soup, Vegan Style

The following post was written by my Aunt Nancy who rules. Thanks, Aunt Nancy!
Winter weather is perfect for soup.  WWW and I agree on that. She’s posted many a delicious soup for both winter and summer.  Given the season, I love a satisfying bowl of warmth. 

We recently spent the day at our local ski resort watching my teenage son Tyler competing in his last high school ski team race (he’s a senior).  The great thing about Lake Tahoe is its blue skies and sunny weather even in the heart of winter.  It was a beautiful day but after standing in the snow watching the racing for several hours, we were ready for something warm and delicious for dinner.
ski day
Deciding what to make usually involves taking a mental inventory of what’s in my pantry.  Since it only requires a few ingredients, and I always have onions in the house, I decided that French onion soup would be delicious.  While my home isn’t gluten-free, it is lactose-free which means no cheese.  So can you make a delicious onion soup without the oozing cheese that is characteristic of the classic.  Yes!  The trick to making a good onion soup is time.  It’s not a difficult soup to make, but you can’t rush it.  It’s a great soup to make while you’re paying bills, chasing children, working on a blog entry about soup...


Cheese Free Onion Soup

3 or 4 onions (I used 2 yellow, and 1 red), sliced in half then sliced into ribbons
1 shallot, sliced (optional)
1 clove garlic, sliced
olive oil and/or margarine or butter
1 Tbs flour
2 quarts vegetable broth (I use Better than Bouillon)
1/2 tsp herbs de provence (or you could use thyme)
dash of black pepper and white pepper.
Sliced bread, toasted with garlic powder and salt


Get out your soup pot and chop 3 or 4 medium size onions.  You can use yellow, white or red or a mixture of colors.

Chop the onions in half then lay them flat on the cutting board and slice them into ribbons.

Slice shallot if you choose. 

Saute in about 1 Tbs olive oil plus 1 Tbs. margarine. 

Add ½ tsp salt.  Cover. 

Put on lowest setting and let simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring every so often.  They should look brown. Because they are covered, they shouldn’t dry out. If they do, add a little more olive oil so they don’t burn. 
Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring to coat the onions. 

Add broth.  I like to make broth with Better than Bouillon which I can get at my grocery store. It’s a vegetable base that you add to hot water and it makes a really nice vegetable broth.
Add ½ tsp herbs de provence, which is a spice blend.  You can use thyme, if you need to substitute.  Add a pinch of black pepper and white pepper (1/4 tsp each or to taste).  Simmer for about 20-25 minutes, covered but not completely.

soup and broth
About 5 minutes before you want to serve it, slice some crunchy bread (ciabatta is nice). Sprinkle or brush the bread with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and sea salt.  Toast in the oven. 
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and float a slice of toasted bread on top. 

Aunt Nancy