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Year of the Soup: Week 30

The tears, oh my, the tears.  Thinly slicing five large onions brought on the waterworks in my kitchen.  And once I finished with the onions, the garlic needed mincing.  Would it never stop?  The combination made my eyes and nose run in a very unflattering way.  But as they began to caramelize on the stove, they filled the house with an aroma rivaled only by this previous soup.  That’s when my mouth started watering.

I’ve been wanting to taste French Onion Soup for years, but lurking beneath it’s bubbling cheese top is nearly always beef broth – a surefire way to make this vegetarian sick.  Fortunately, the good people at Vegetarian Times whipped up this veg-friendly alternative.  This recipe has such nice flavor that even John thought it was a winner without the beef broth.  It’s such a distinctly different type of soup than anything I’ve made yet this year, and I highly recommend it.  It’s sweet and savory, and completely worth all the tears shed for the sake of it’s production.

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 5 large onions (about 3 lb.), halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbs.)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups roasted or low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. sherry vinegar
  • 6 1/2-inch slices sourdoughbread, toasted
  • 2/3 cup shredded Jarlsberg or Gruyère cheese (I used Munster – yum!)
  1. Heat butter and oil in heavy, large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and salt, and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to very low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 50 to 60 minutes, until onions are very tender and brown.
  2. Stir in flour, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Blend in broth, sherry and mustard. Cover, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sherry vinegar.
  3. Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into six heatproof bowls. Top each with slice of toast and grated cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot.
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