Warm up with this fantastic vegan French onion soup! It is loaded with caramelized onions, topped with crispy bread, and comes with a creamy vegan cheese sauce! A rustic dish that is so comforting on cold days!

Vegan onion soup with bread and cheese sauce in a small pot.

⭐️ Why You Should Try This Recipe

  • Super simple to prepare. This soup is made in just one pot with 8 ingredients. Then, it’s topped with a slice of bread and vegan cheese before being put under the grill for a few minutes.
  • Warming and flavorful. The onions are caramelized to perfection, bringing a natural sweetness and a ton of flavor to the soup. Then, you have the contrast of crispy bread with creamy vegan cheese, which takes the whole thing to a new level.
  • Delicious as a side or as an entrée. You can serve this soup as a side or appetizer in mini cocotte or as an entrée in a bigger bowl.

📘 What is Onion Soup

Onion soup (Soupe à l’oignon) is a classic French dish that appeared during Roman times. It consists of caramelized onions cooked in a broth and topped with a slice of bread and cheese. The bread is then browned under a broiler until crispy.

This soup used to be called “the soup of the poor” during Ancient history due to its use of cheap and accessible ingredients.

Ingredients like onions, vegetable broth, flour, bread, and garlic.

🧅 Ingredient Notes

This soup uses basic and cheap ingredients you probably already have on hand, making it a budget-friendly dish! Here is what you will need:

  • Onion – I went with yellow onions, but you can use whatever kind you have on hand. Check out the FAQ below if you want to use shallots instead of onions.
  • Butter – Butter not only helps the onions caramelize and brown but also brings a subtle nuttiness. You can use store-bought vegan butter or homemade vegan butter.
  • FlourAll-purpose flour helps thicken the soup. If you want to keep this recipe gluten-free, feel free to use a 1:1 gluten-free flour mix.
  • White wine – To deglaze the pot and add a hint of acidity. Feel free to replace it with more vegetable broth if you don’t have wine.
  • Vegetable broth – Use your favorite vegetable broth, Better Than Bouillon, or homemade veggie broth.
  • Garlic – Preferably fresh garlic for the best flavor.
  • Black pepper
  • Bread – Use rustic French baguette. It will hold up together well and crisp up perfectly.
  • Vegan cheese – To top the bread. You can use store-bought grated vegan cheese or follow my recipe to make the cheese sauce from scratch.

🍲 How to Make Vegan French Onion Soup

  1. Melt the butter and sauté the onions until golden brown, about 30 minutes. You want to cook them over low-medium heat and stir them regularly to prevent burning.
  2. Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute.
  3. Sprinkle the flour and stir to combine.
  4. Deglaze the pot with white wine and pour in the vegetable broth. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cover and let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes.
  6. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

While you could serve this soup as is, it’s even better topped with crispy bread and some cheese! To finish this soup:

  1. Divide it between small serving bowls or mini cocottes.
  2. Arrange a slice of bread on top of each bowl of soup. The bread will float on top.
  3. Next, drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of the vegan cheese sauce (recipe below).
  4. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes or until the bread is slightly golden brown.
  5. Enjoy hot as an appetizer or as an entrée!

The bread will become tender as it soaks up some of the soup while remaining crispy on the top edges. SO GOOD!

📔 Tips

  • Be patient. The caramelization process will bring a lot of flavor to the soup, so you want to caramelize the onions slowly on the stovetop until they brown. Be aware that this step will take roughly 30-40 minutes.
  • Use good quality vegetable stock. The stock will affect a lot the flavor of the soup, so I recommend using your favorite vegetable stock or, even better, using homemade vegetable stock.
  • Use store-bought vegan cheese. If you are short on time or simply don’t want to prepare the homemade vegan cheese sauce, feel free to replace it with your favorite shredded vegan cheese.
Vegan onion soup in mini cocottes with bread and cheeese.

💬 FAQ

Can I substitute shallots for the onions?

Yes, you will want to use about 8 medium shallots.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

It is not, but you can easily make it gluten-free by making a few substitutions. Replace the all-purpose flour with your favorite gluten-free flour blend and the bread with gluten-free bread.

How long does this soup keep?

You can keep the soup without the bread for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Top with the bread and cheese sauce, and grill just before serving.

❄️ Freezing Option

This onion soup freezes beautifully. Let it cool down completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. It will keep for 3-4 months in the freezer.

To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight and heat on the stovetop until hot.

Close up of vegan french onion soup with bread and scallions.

This vegan French onion soup makes a fantastic entrée! It’s comforting and rich, making it perfect for cold or rainy days. Plus, it’s a crowd-pleaser. Vegans and non-vegans alike will love it!

🇫🇷 More Vegan French-Inspired Recipes

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Close up of vegan onion soup with bread, cheese, and scallions in a pot.
Recipe

Vegan French Onion Soup

5 from 2 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Warm up with this fantastic vegan French onion soup! It is loaded with caramelized onions, topped with crispy bread, and comes with a creamy vegan cheese sauce! A rustic dish that is so comforting on cold days!
Prep Time : 25 minutes
Cook Time : 1 hour
Total Time : 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 131 kcal

Ingredients
 

Onion Soup

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 medium onions thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt adjust to taste
  • 4 slices of bread

Vegan Cheese Sauce

Instructions
 

  • Melt the butter and the oil in a deep saucepan or cast-iron pot over low-medium heat. Once hot, add the sliced onions and sauté for 3-5 minutes.
  • Season with a pinch of salt and continue cooking the onions for 30-35 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onions are golden brown. Be patient, you want to caramelize the onions slowly.
  • Next, add the minced garlic and cook for one more minute.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to coat.
  • Deglaze the pot with the white wine and increase the heat to medium. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth, ground black pepper, and salt. Cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Preheat your oven with the broiler on. Divide the soup between 4 small bowls or mini cocottes. Top each bowl with a thick slice of bread and drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of vegan cheese sauce.
  • Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes or until the bread is toasted. Top with chopped scallions and serve immediately!

Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • Drain the raw cashews and transfer them to a blender. Add all the other ingredients and blend for 10-15 seconds or until smooth.
  • Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over low-medium heat, constantly whisking until it thickens. Remove from heat and use immediately.

Notes

  • Be patient. The caramelization process will bring a lot of flavor to the soup, so you want to caramelize the onions slowly on the stovetop until they brown. Be aware that this step will take roughly 30-40 minutes.
  • Use good quality vegetable stock. The stock will affect a lot the flavor of the soup, so I recommend using your favorite vegetable stock or, even better, using homemade vegetable stock.
  • Use store-bought vegan cheese. If you are short on time or simply don’t want to prepare the homemade vegan cheese sauce, feel free to replace it with your favorite shredded vegan cheese.
  • You can keep the soup without the bread for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Top with the bread and cheese sauce, and grill just before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving (without bread and cheese) | Calories: 131 kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.5 g | Protein: 1.5 g | Fat: 5.9 g | Saturated Fat: 3.7 g | Cholesterol: 15 mg | Sodium: 668 mg | Potassium: 182 mg | Fiber: 3.5 g | Sugar: 6.9 g | Calcium: 51 mg | Iron: 1 mg
Course : Appetizer, Dinner, Soup
Cuisine : French
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7 Comments

  1. Do you need to add wine? I am breastfeeding so I am not drinking? Thank you. The recipe looks divine!