Some months ago I made a French onion soup for Smark that seems to have made a much larger impression upon him than I’d realized. He’s been asking me to make him onion soup again for months, and although I’m usually very glad when he makes requests, I’ve been avoiding this particular one because I don’t remember what I did last time and was therefore unsure I’d be able to live up to his expectations. I’m breaking out of my cooking slump, though, and today felt up to the challenge. I wish I’d baked my own bread for this – I haven’t baked in several weeks – but maybe the fact that I didn’t will make the recipe more accessible to those who don’t bake bread. Caramelizing the onions for this takes a long time – I actually let them cook for two hours – but they can largely be ignored, so it’s not active time by any means. If you turn the heat up a bit higher than I did, you can caramelize them in an hour.
French Onion Soup
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 huge or 3 normal-sized onions, any kind, I used a mixture of white, red, and yellow, thinly sliced
1 tsp salt
4-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tsp thyme
2 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups vegan “beef” broth
crusty French bread, sliced (3-4 slices per serving)
melty vegan cheese, like Daiya, shredded
Dragonfly’s Bulk, Dry Uncheese Mix, if you have it on hand (and if you don’t, why don’t you?)
Bring a soup pot or Dutch oven to medium-low temperature and add the olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the sliced onions and the salt.
Cook the onions over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are caramelized and greatly reduced. Here is what their progression will look like:
Add the white wine, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, and pepper.
Stir in the broth.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for half an hour. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Slice the bread into 1/2″ thick slices.
Pop the bread slices under the broiler for a minute and a half, turning half way through.
Ladle the soup into individual broiler-safe bowls. (If you don’t have individual broiler-safe bowls, just broil the whole pot and ladle into individual servings later.)
Float the bread slices on the soup.
Top with shredded “cheese”, then optionally sprinkle with the uncheese mix.
Broil for a couple of minutes – keep an eye on it, the broiler works fast and things burn very quickly and it will probably be no longer than two minutes., depending on your oven.
Serve on individual trivets or other heat-safe surface.
Don’t make the mistake I did and leave the room momentarily in the middle of dinner.
Mark rated this “totally awesome”. Apparently I did his memory of my first French onion soup justice. Whew!
Speaking of Daiya cheese, which is now available in the US at all (I’m told) Whole Foods stores, here is a picture of some mac and cheese made using it – a quick post-swim meal from earlier this week.