It’s been a while!
October proved to be much busier than I anticipated. With the changing seasons brought a bit of a change of internal temperature for me. I always try to ward off viruses any way I can. Usually, I’m successful.
For whatever reason, my immune system felt a little overwhelmed this year. Needless to say, I was in bed for a good 48 hours shivering and sniffling. Over those few days when I was recovering, I downed soup and tea like mad! Soup is a food group that I overlook during the warmer months, with the exception of the occasional gazpacho. I really love soups during the fall and winter. There’s something magical about eating and drinking something all at once. I love to drink all my leftover broth. It warms my heart! ^_^
One of my favorite soups is French onion. I used to eat this in my pre-veg days, like most people, I suppose. It’s a pretty common menu item. I really wanted it the one day when I wasn’t feeling well. There’s something really comforting about sweet caramelized onions in a rich salty broth. However, I was faced with a bit of a dilemma: I only had half an onion…
Yeah, you can’t really do much with half an onion!! That’s basically one serving! Luckily, I had some other vegetables in my fridge that needed to be used. This version of baked onion soup is a hodge podge of ingredients that I had on hand. However, I think after making “onion” soup this way, I’ll never settle for just onions again! It was definitely delicious and also a hit with my “non-veg” family. 😉
I prepared the soup in the “French” fashion (or wherever it came from!) with a crunchy crouton in the bottom of a crock and melted “cheese” on top. I used some gluten free bread that I had on hand, but you can use any toasted bread that you prefer (or, omit if you choose). The “cheese” is also optional, but it’s so fun! I also like the presentation because it reminds me that vegan dishes can imitate conventional ones pretty well when they feel like it!
French Onion Soup Plus
Yield: 6 servings
- 6 cups water + 1 vegan bullion cube (or all vegan broth)
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 1 Tb whole grain mustard
- 1/4 of small/medium red cabbage, shredded
- 2 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1/2 of large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup carrots. julienned
- 1 cup celery, julienned
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tb olive oil/vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 slice non-dairy swiss cheese (I used Daiya), opt.
- 3 homemade croutons (per serving), opt.
Oven 375 F.
- In a large stock pot, heat the margarine/oil over medium-low heat. Saute the garlic and onion, low and slow, until golden brown in color, stirring often. This will take about 5 minutes.
- Add all the other vegetables (minus mushrooms), season with salt and pepper, and continue to cook for another 8-10 minutes.
- In a mug/bowl, dissolve the bullion cube with a cup of boiling water (skip if already using prepared broth/stock).
- Add all the liquid ingredients, mushrooms, mustard, bay leaf, to the pot over the vegetables. Bring to a slow boil and then turn down to a simmer. Leave on the stove until the rest of the vegetables are cooked (preferably al dente).
- Taste the broth for salt and add more tamari if needed.
- To assemble, place croutons in the bottom of a soup crock/bowl. Ladle some soup over the croutons. Place a slice of non-dairy cheese over the top of the crock/bowl. I garnished mine with some dried parsley.
- Place in the oven for about 6 minutes, just until the cheese melts. Serve immediately!
- Feel better about life. ❤