Often times vegetarian renditions of beef broth-based soups fall short on depth of flavor. However, this recipe from Jennifer Perillo’s Homemade With Love changes everything–the addition of one tablespoon molasses to the broth results in a soup with deep flavor reminiscent of the classic French onion stock. Plus, the entire recipe–broth and all– is made right in a 6-quart stockpot. How easy is that?
To make this soup gluten-free, swap in toasted slices of your favorite gluten-free bread. And never skimp on toasting the bread–not only does it taste better, it saves the bread from soaking up the broth like a sponge and becoming too soggy.
Vegetarian French Onion Soup
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 large yellow onions, sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 Tbsp molasses
- 4 (1-inch) thick slices of baguette, toasted
- 4 oz Swiss or Gruyere cheese, shredded
Melt the butter in a 6-quart stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and bay leaf and season with the salt and pepper to taste. Stir to coat well. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften and become golden, about 15 minutes. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until the onions are very soft and browned, about 20 more minutes.
Remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir, scraping up browned bits at the bottom of the pot. Raise the heat back to medium-high and slowly pour in 2½ cups water. Add the garlic clove, sherry vinegar, and molasses, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, so the soup gently bubbles, and cook for 10 more minutes. Taste and season the soup with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
Preheat the broiler with the oven rack just under the broiler element. Evenly ladle the soup into 4 oven-safe bowls. Place one slice of toasted baguette on top of each serving of soup. Sprinkle the cheese evenly on top and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook until the cheese becomes golden and bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes.
About the Author
Reprinted with permission from HOMEMADE WITH LOVE © 2013 by Jennifer Perillo, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.