This vegan French onion soup is super easy to make and is practically an entirely hands-off recipe! It'll give you a cozy, delicious soup that's perfect for chilly fall or winter nights and is fancy enough to be perfect for date nights!
What's best is that this easy and cozy soup recipe is an adaptation of my popular French Onion Soup, but made completely vegan! It's the perfect plant-based alternative that offers all the savory flavors you love, but without any animal products.
This means it's just as rich and flavorful as the original, but without any dairy. Plus, with a few easy swaps, it can be gluten-free, too!
My recipe will prove to you that French vegan recipes can still have all the buttery, cheesy flavor of the original versions by using vegan butter and cheese. You don't have to give up the rich taste of dairy while on a vegan diet!
This is absolutely the best vegan French onion soup, thanks to the rich, savory flavor caramelized onions that give the warm broth with a melty vegan cheese on top. It's so easy yet flavorful, making it the perfect veggie French onion soup for chilly days.
Whether you're vegan or not, this Vegan French Onion Soup recipe is perfect for anyone looking for a tasty and healthy dish that can be easily prepared at home. Read on to learn exactly how to make this delicious vegan soup!
- What is a Vegan French Onion Soup?
- Why This is The Best Vegan French Onion Soup Recipe
- What You Need to Make Vegan French Onion Soup At Home
- How to Make Vegan French Onion Soup Step by Step
- Tips For Making the Best Vegan French Onion Soup Every Single Time
- Serving Suggestions
- Recipe Variation Ideas for Vegan French Onion Soup
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Store Leftover Vegan French Onion Soup
- Try These Delicious Soups
What is a Vegan French Onion Soup?
Vegan French Onion Soup is a plant-based version of the classic French Onion soup, made without any animal products. The traditional recipe uses beef stock and a thick layer of melted cheese on top, which is not vegan-friendly.
This vegan version uses vegetable broth and plant-based cheese alternatives to create a savory and satisfying soup that is both tasty and cruelty-free.
French Onion Soup is a popular dish that originated in France and is made with caramelized onions, broth, bread, and cheese. The dish has been popular since the Roman times, but it wasn't until the 18th century that the dish became widely known as French Onion Soup. It quickly spread throughout France and eventually found its way into other countries.
What's good about this dish is that it's a comforting and flavorful soup that is perfect for cold weather. The caramelized onions give it a sweet and savory flavor, while the bread and cheese help to thicken and add texture to the soup.
It's also incredibly versatile and can be customized to suit different dietary needs and preferences by using different types of broth and cheese alternatives.
Why This is The Best Vegan French Onion Soup Recipe
Healthy: Unlike traditional French Onion Soup recipes, which often contain beef broth or butter and heavy cream for richness, this Vegan French Onion Soup is a healthy and nutritious version of the classic recipe. It's low in fat and calories, and packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber that will leave you feeling satisfied and nourished.
Vegan: This recipe is the vegan version of the classic French onion soup, meaning you can still enjoy your favorite soup and get that rich, delicious flavor even if you're on a vegan diet!
Easy: This recipe is incredibly easy to prepare, requiring just a handful of simple ingredients. It features that classic flavor and is fancy enough for date nights too!
Crowd-pleaser: This dish is a universal crowd-pleaser, loved by both vegans and non-vegans alike. It's a great option for dinner parties or potlucks, as it's sure to impress everyone at the table with its bold, complex flavors and beautiful presentation.
What You Need to Make Vegan French Onion Soup At Home
All you need are some incredibly simple, pantry-staple ingredients to make this delicious vegan French onion soup recipe at home.
Here's an overview of the specific ingredients for this recipe. For the exact ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.
Yellow onion: You'll be sautéing the yellow onion until it's soft and caramelized, adding a sweet depth of flavor to the dish. While the onion cooks, it will release natural sugars and a wonderful aroma that will fill your kitchen.
Vegan butter: We'll also be adding vegan butter to the onion, which will melt and coat the onions evenly, giving them a rich, buttery flavor. The vegan butter will help the onions cook evenly and bring all the flavors together. If you don't have vegan butter, you can substitute it with a neutral oil, although vegan butter is highly recommended!
Flour: You'll be adding flour to the sautéed onion and butter mixture, creating a roux that will thicken the sauce and give it a creamy texture. As you whisk the flour in, you'll see the mixture come together and begin to turn golden brown. If you'd like this recipe to be gluten-free, you can use gluten-free all-purpose flour.
Vegetable broth: You'll be adding vegetable broth to the dish, which will create a flavorful base for the soup. The broth will deepen the flavors of the other ingredients and add a needed liquid component to the dish.
Salt: Along with the other seasonings, you'll be adding salt to enhance the flavors of the dish. A little salt will balance the sweetness of the caramelized onions and add depth to the dish.
Pepper: You'll be adding freshly ground black pepper to the dish, which will add a slight kick of spice and complement the savory flavors of the dish.
Fresh or dried thyme: You'll be adding fresh or dried thyme to the dish, which will add a beautiful earthy flavor that pairs perfectly with the savory onions. Fresh thyme has a less intense flavor than dried, so you can add extra fresh thyme to taste if you like.
Vegan mozzarella: We'll be adding vegan mozzarella cheese to the dish, which will melt and become gooey in the soup, giving each spoonful a creamy, cheesy flavor. The melted mozzarella will also add a beautiful, stringy texture to the dish. You can also alternatively use any other vegan cheese that melts well.
French baguette: You can also use a gluten-free baguette or Italian bread. If you're using store-bought, make sure your bread is vegan. Some breads can contain eggs, honey, or dairy.
How to Make Vegan French Onion Soup Step by Step
Making this vegan French onion soup recipe at home is super easy and will give you great results every single time. Here's how to make it step by step:
1. Caramelize the onions
Melt the vegan butter in a Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.
Add the sliced onion and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook while stirring occasionally until the onions are tender and caramelized.
If the onions start to stick to the bottom of the pot, add one or two tablespoons of water. The onion will become a rich brown with a distinctive aroma.
2. Cook the onions and seasonings
Whisk in the flour, salt, pepper, and thyme. Allow the onion and flour mixture to simmer while stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Add the broth and cover. Let the soup simmer for 25 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, preheat the broiler.
3. Broil the soup
Place 4 ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and divide the soup among them. Top each ramekin with a few slices of baguette, then generously sprinkle with vegan cheese.
Broil for a few minutes until the cheese melts and starts to brown.
Your delicious vegan French onion soup is ready to be served!
Tips For Making the Best Vegan French Onion Soup Every Single Time
Prep your onions perfectly: Before starting the recipe, make sure to properly prepare your onions. Slicing them thinly and evenly will ensure that they cook evenly and caramelize well.
Use a variety of onions for flavor. To add depth of flavor to your soup, try using a combination of sweet onions, white onions, and red onions.
Use a good-quality vegan cheese: Using a high-quality vegan cheese will enhance the flavor of your soup and give it that gooey, melty texture that we all love in French Onion Soup.
Keep the broth simple: Do not use a strong or overbearing broth in this recipe as it will overpower the sweet caramel flavors of the onions and the umami richness of the vegan cheese.
Save time with a food processor: To save time on prep work, use a food processor to chop your onions quickly and uniformly.
Caramelize the onions slowly: Take your time to properly caramelize your onions over low heat, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot to release all the tasty bits.
- Toast a slice of crusty bread and place it over the soup. The bread soaks up the soup, giving each spoonful a good balance of texture and flavor.
- Add a sprinkle of vegan cheese over the soup before serving. The melted cheese adds a creamy texture that complements the sweetness of the onions.
- Top the soup with chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme or parsley. Not only do they add a delicious fresh flavor, but they also add a pop of color to the dish.
- Roast a few cloves of garlic and serve them on the side of the soup. The roasted garlic adds a rich and nutty flavor that pairs well with the sweet onions.
- Fry a few slices of onions until they are crispy, and serve them as a topping for the soup. The crunchiness of the onions adds a satisfying texture to the soup.
Recipe Variation Ideas for Vegan French Onion Soup
Mushrooms: Consider adding some sliced mushrooms to the onion mixture for extra umami flavor and texture.
Garlic: Another great idea is to use some sauté garlic with the onions for a more pungent and robust soup.
White wine: Deglaze the pan with a cup of white wine before adding the broth for a lighter, more complex flavor.
Rosemary: Add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary while the soup simmers for an earthy and aromatic taste.
Sourdough: Top each bowl with a thick slice of toasted sourdough bread and melted vegan cheese for a comforting and filling twist.
Frequently Asked Questions
This French Onion Soup recipe is vegan because it uses vegetable broth instead of beef broth, and the caramelized onions and thyme infuse it with rich and savory flavors.
While traditional French onion soup requires yellow or white onions, you can substitute them with a sweet onion such as Vidalia. Just remember, the sweeter onions will change the flavor profile of the soup.
Traditionally, French onion soup is served with a toasted slice of bread on top. But it's not necessary. If you prefer, you can omit the bread and simply sprinkle the cheese on top of the soup before broiling.
You can easily make this recipe gluten-free by swapping out the flour for a gluten-free flour and using some gluten free bread instead of the French baguette in the recipe.
How to Store Leftover Vegan French Onion Soup
Vegan French Onion soup will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Reheat it on the stovetop until it simmers and then ladle the soup in a ramekin, top with a baguette and cheese, and broil until the cheese melts.
You can also freeze this vegan French Onion soup. After the soup has cooled, distribute it among 4-quart freezer-friendly bags and freeze for up to 3 months.
Try These Delicious Soups
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Vegan French Onion Soup
- Melt vegan butter in a Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add sliced onion and reduce the heat to medium low.
- Cook while stirring occasionally until tender and caramelised. If the onions start to stick to the bottom of the pot, add 1-2 tablespoons of water. The onion should become rich brown with a distinctive aroma. It will take about 50 to 70 minutes.
- Whisk in flour, salt, pepper and thyme and simmer while stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Add broth and simmer with a lid on for 25 minutes. While soup is cooking, preheat the broiler.
- Place 4 ramekins into a rimmed baking sheet and divide soup among them. Top each ramekin with a few slices of baguette. Generously sprinkle with vegan cheese.
- Broil for a few minutes until the cheese melts and starts to brown.
Iryna Bychkiv is the founder and writer of the culinary website Lavender & Macarons, where she shares clean, European-inspired recipes that are delicious, easy to prepare, and made with wholesome ingredients. Iryna loves creating meals that are simple yet healthy and unique, including vegan and vegetarian recipes.
Iryna is also a freelance writer for MSN and Associated Press Wire.