Autumn, Winter, Light Meals, Soup

French Onion Soup

I have veganised one of my all time favourite classic soups. Traditionally this soup is made with Beef stock and is rich and comforting. My vegan version will not disappoint.



  • 1.5kg white onions finely sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic ground or finely chopped
  • 3 tbs groundnut oil
  • 1.5tsp sugar
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 1tbs thyme leaves roughly chopped
  • 3tbs plain flour, you can use gluten free
  • 2ltr vegetable stock, or a mix of veg and onion stock.
  • 40g porcini mushroom
  • 2 tbs vegetable butter
  • 350ml white wine
  • 1 tbs umami paste
  • 2 tbs red miso paste
  • Good teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1tsp marmite/yeast extract
  • To serve
  • 1 stick French bread
  • 150g vegan cheese grated (gruyere is traditional here)


  1. Start with your onions, add them to a large frying pan with the groundnut oil and vegetable butter, cook on a medium heat to start with to get them going, do to let them catch or burn. As they start to soften reduce the heat to low add the sugar and let them cook down slowly for a good half hour to 40minutes. Stirring frequently.
  2. While your onions are cooking, place the porcini mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 500ml of boiling water. Leave to soak for 10mins. After which drain the mushrooms through a sieve lined with a piece of kitchen towel, into another bowl. We want to reserve the mushroom liquid for later. the kitchen towel helps to hold back any gritty residue from the mushrooms. The porcini can be kept for another dish, such as risotto or a pasta, in an air tight container in the fridge.
  3. The onions should be very soft, lightly golden and caramelised. You should be able to squish them between your fingers.
  4. Add in your garlic and thyme and stir for a couple of minutes.
  5. Now turn the heat up to medium, sprinkle on your flour and give it a good stir, once combine and the pan is hot, gradually add your white wine, stirring continuously. If your pan is not big enough to hold everything transfer the onion mix to a large sauce pan.
  6. Add your stock, the reserved porcini mushroom liquid, umami paste, miso paste, marmite and salt and pepper.
  7. Cook on a medium heat for 20-30mins.
  8. The soup should have reduced a little and thickened. It can continue to cook on a low heat for an hour or so. Check for seasoning and prepare your toasts.
  9. Pre heat the onion to 200°C, take a large baking tray and cover with foil. Slice your French stick into 1-inch slices, I recommend 2-3 per person. Place on the baking tray in the oven for a few minutes, then turn over. You want them to dry out slightly but not burn.
  10. Once dried out a little and the outside of the bread is crisp, remove from the oven and sprinkle each piece with the cheese.
  11. Return to the oven once the cheese has melted.
  12. Serve your soup in bowls topped with the cheese toasts.

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