French Onion Soup with Swiss-Topped Toast
In my opinion, the key to a delicious French Onion Soup is a dark, savory broth, which you get from beef broth. But, if you want a vegetarian version this is rather hard to do with vegetable broth. To achieve the earthy tones I'm looking for, I've used a few nontraditional ingredients to this soup. I think it is a winner.—Paul DeBenedictis, Reading, Massachusetts
Total TimePrep: 30 min. Cook: 1 hour 20 minutes
- 3 pounds yellow onions
- 1 pound sweet onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) vegetable broth
- 1 can (12 ounces) beer or 12 ounces vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup white wine or additional vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons brandy
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 slices French bread (1 inch thick)
- 6 slices Swiss cheese
- In a Dutch oven, saute onions in butter and oil until tender. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook for 1 hour or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in the thyme, brown sugar and vinegar.
- Combine the flour and broth until blended. Gradually stir into onion mixture. Stir in the beer, wine, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brandy, pepper, salt and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place bread on a baking sheet. Broil 4 in. from the heat for 2 minutes on each side or until toasted. Top each with a cheese slice; broil for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with cheese-topped toast.
Nutrition Facts1 cup with 1 bread slice with cheese: 377 calories, 14g fat (8g saturated fat), 35mg cholesterol, 875mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate (21g sugars, 6g fiber), 12g protein.
Originally published as Surprisingly Vegetarian French Onion Soup in Recipe Card Collection Fall 2013