Recipe: French Onion Soup with Vegan Cheesy Toast

Oh man, nothing says luxury to me like french onion soup. It seems like something you only get when you're out at fancy places. Or if you bought those little frozen soups at Trader Joe's (which were always just way too dang salty.) 

This soup is actually quite simple once you get past the cutting the onions part. I've heard a ton of different things to do so you don't get teary eyed but I'm not sure anything short of the goggles will work. I won't ever bother with buying them but I can see the appeal! I always end up wearing mascara (not waterproof, mind you) on days that I'm chopping onions and have stream of black down each side of my face. I always forget and then only hours later see myself in the mirror. 

Well, maybe to solve this I'll just buy some waterproof stuff next time. 

Oh yeah and don't forget the vegan cheesy toasts floating on top of the soup. I made a nutty swiss cheese sauce and poured it on top of little rounds of bread. You can broil them separately or put them on the soup and broil the whole thing. You pretty much HAVE to have them to have french onion soup.

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The soup only has ONE secret magical ingredient: shiitake mushroom powder. You just take a package of dried shiitake mushrooms (or any other dried mushrooms for that matter) and blend them up! It worked fine in my regular blender and if you have a spice grinder it would be even better. It adds an incredible depth of flavor to this soup as well as many others. You can mix it with some other spices and use it as rub. You can sprinkle it over stir-fry. You can really do so many things with this stuff!

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Recipe notes...

*You can use all purpose or rice flour in the soup and cheesy sauces.

*Use any kind of red wine that is palatable enough to drink. You'll have enough leftover in the bottle that you'll want to drink it!

*If you can't find ANY dried mushrooms anywhere then you can either eliminate it entirely or finely chop 1 cup of fresh mushrooms and cook them with the onions.

French Onion Soup with Vegan Cheesy Toast

8 - 1 cup servings

Soup: 

  • 3 large sweet onions, cut in half and sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 Tablespoons mushroom powder
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1.5 teaspoons dried)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped (or 1.5 teaspoons dried)

Cheesy Toast: 

  • 1 baguette (vegan and whole wheat if possible)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 Tablespoon tahini
  • 4 teaspoons light miso
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup water

Mushroom Powder:

dried mushrooms (I used a 3 oz bag and it made several CUPS. You can use a small 0.5 oz bag for this recipe)

-Blend the mushrooms up in a blender or spice grinder until fine. Store in an airtight container.

Make the Soup:

Heat up a large nonstick pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook for 6-8 minutes or until they start to brown slightly. Make sure to stir them while cooking. Once they are lightly colored add in the salt and 1/4 cup water. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized (30-45 minutes.) Stir occasionally and add additional water if necessary.

When the onions are caramelized turn the heat back up to medium high and stir in the flour. Now add your red wine, broth, mushroom powder and herbs. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then turn to low. Let the soup simmer for 25-30 minutes. Taste for seasonings and add additional salt if necessary.

Make the Cheesy Toast: 

While the soup is simmering blend together everything but the baguette for the cheesy toast. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan over high heat. Whisk the mixture continuously until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Once thickened take off the heat.

Slice the baguette into thick rounds. Spoon some of the cheesy mixture onto the rounds.

To Serve: 

Broil the cheesy rounds of bread until lightly toasted and place on top of your individual bowls of hot soup. Alternatively, you can place your soup into oven safe bowls and top with the cheesy bread. Place the whole bowl under the broiler and cook until the bread is lightly toasted. Be careful when you take it out the oven!

Serve with some wine, a salad and good company!

Nutritional information per servingServing size: 1 cup soup with 1oz bread slice and 1/8th cheese sauce

4 WWPointsPlus, 163 calories, 1.7g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 28.6g carbohydrates, 2.9g fiber, 2.3g sugar, 6.6g protein

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