OK – even this old carnivore can use a break from meat once in a while! This is a low cost rich French Onion soup that would be a great dish for a #meatlessmonday. This could also be made in the morning or the day before and and put in a slow cooker on warm to have a ready to eat meal when you get home….
Servings – about five 12 ounce bowls
Cook/Prep time – about two hours
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet vidalia onions
- 1/2 pounds red onions
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 4 tbsp butter
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 3 bay leaves
- 12 oz gruyere cheese (you may substitute Swiss or provolone)
- 1/2 loaf French or Italian bread
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- salt to taste if needed
- Note – for a richer version of this soup, you can substitute beef or chicken stock for the vegetable stock, but then technically the soup would not actually be meatless.
Peel the onions and slice them thin. I sliced some crosswise and some lengthwise. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven on medium low heat. Add sliced onions. Saute them, stirring frequently for 30 minutes.
Peel and chop the garlic and add to the onions. Turn the heat up to medium and add the sugar while stirring constantly. The sugar will help to caramelize the onions. Cook for about 30 more minutes until the onions are caramelized.
When the onions are browned well, add the wine and stir to deglaze the pan, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce , black pepper and bay leaves. Turn heat down to low and simmer another 30 minutes. Taste to see if you need to add any salt. I did not need to add any. The soy sauce adds a salty flavor and the cheese also has a salty taste. While the soup is simmering, slice the bread. Mix the olive oil, Italian seasoning and onion powder together and brush both sides of the bread slices. At this point, you can leave the bread in slices or cut into chunks as croutons. Set oven to 450 and toast the slices or croutons until browned well.
Slice or shred the Gruyere cheese. Dish the soup into oven proof soup crocks. Set the bread slices or croutons on top of the soup and add the desired amount of cheese on top of the bread. Set oven to broil and place the crocks in the oven until the cheese is melted and browned well. Carefully pull the crocks out of the oven and serve.
If you would like to make the bread I used in this recipe, see my Easy Crusty No Knead Italian Bread post from February 8th.
Suggested music for your listening pleasure to listen to while preparing this soup…..
“Green Onions” by Booker T & the M.G. ‘s from the album “Green Onions” released in September 1962.
“The Onion Song” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell from the album “Easy” released in October 1969.
“French Kissing” by Debbie Harry from the album “Rockford” released in November 1986.
“Vidalia” by Sammy Kershaw from his album “Politics, Religion and Her” released in July 1996.
Click the picture below to see soup crocks from Amazon.