You may be under the impression that french cooking is difficult or complicated. It is actually neither, especially in this case. The thing about french cooking isn’t that it’s difficult, it is that it takes time. French Onion Soup is so simple that it is as easy as slicing onions. Really. That’s the hard part. 7 onions,granted, but slicing them is pretty easy right?
Then all you do is put them in a pan and let them slow cook down to a sweet and caramelly dream. Deglaze the pan with a little wine, add some broth, herbs and simmer. Don’t skip the toasted cheesy bread that covers the surface of each bowl of soup because its part of the fun, texture and beauty of this dish. It’s also easy-peasy to toast some bread, so there is no reason to skip it.
I know 7 onions seems like a lot, and it is, but that’s the beauty of this soup (and french cooking in general). Simple ingredients prepared is a skillful and patient manner to release a magnitude of flavor.
Vegetarian French Onion Soup
- 2 Tablespoons vegan margarine
- 7 onions, peeled and thinly sliced into half moons
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups of red wine
- 6 cups mushroom broth
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 bouquet garni (sprig of thyme, oregano, rosemary tied together)
- french bread sliced 1 inch thick
- vegan cheese
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the margarine.
Add the onions in layers and sprinkle the salt over them as you go.
Allow to slow cook for 1 hour, untouched. They will stick in places and even burn in places but do not stir.
After 1 hour the onions should be caramel colored and have reduced to about 2 cups. Increase heat to high and add the wine stirring and loosening any onions stuck to the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the wine is reduced and almost syrupy.
Add the broth, vinegar, and bouquet garni. Reduce heat and simmer an additional 20 minutes.
Meanwhile toast the bread under a broiler until golden and crisp. Set aside.
Once the soup has simmer for 20 minutes, remover the bouquet garni and ladle into oven safe bowls. Place one slice of toasted bread per bowl on the surface of the soup. Toasted side down.
Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the bread and return the bowls to the broiler until the cheese is golden and melted.
Remove from broiler, garnish with a sprig of fresh herb and serve immediately.