Vegan French Onion Soup

This Vegan French Onion Soup recipe may be the best comfort food available. From the rich, caramelized onions, to the crusty bread on top with melted vegan cheese, every bite is better than the last.

A bowl of vegan French onion soup has melted cheese on top. There's sprigs of fresh herbs behind it and toasted baguette slices.

Soups are the best dishes because they can be an appetizer, a side dish (for salads or sandwiches), or even the main meal. This veggie French onion soup takes it to another level because it’s all those things and absolutely delicious, too!

When it comes to comfort food, I find soup, vegan loaded potatoes, vegan nachos, and even this vegan beef stroganoff to be my favorites.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Onions are sliced thinly and caramelized until golden in color, creating the perfect foundation for this soup.
  • Adding white wine adds a savory flavor and deglazes the pan, meaning you get all the delicious morsels in every bite.
  • Baguette slices are toasted, creating one large crouton in each bowl of soup. As it soaks up the soup below it, the toasted bread becomes even more flavorful.
Ingredients are lined up on a white counter. There's onions, broth, olive oil, flour, bay leaves, and more.

What You Need

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Olive oil
  • Onions — You’ll need around 5 yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced.
  • Brown sugar — We’ll add a bit of brown sugar to help the onions caramelize.
  • Garlic cloves
  • Flour — You can use all-purpose or gluten-free as a thickener for the soup.
  • White wine — This adds flavor, but it serves a purpose too, in that it helps deglaze the pan after cooking the onions.
  • Bay leaves — You’ll need 2 bay leaves.
  • Vegetable broth — I recommend a high-quality vegetable broth, like Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian.
  • Dried thyme
  • Vegan Worcestershire sauce — Standard Worcestershire sauce is made with fish, so make sure you find a vegan version. You can buy it at health food stores or online.
  • Baguette — You’ll need one baguette cut into six one-inch slices.
  • Vegan mozzarella shreds — We use either Daiya or Follow Your Heart.

How to Make Vegan French Onion Soup

  1. Caramelize the onions by cooking them in oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the sugar and cook while stirring until the onions are caramelized. 
  2. Make a Roux by adding the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour—cook and stir for about 1 minute. Add the wine. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to get the brown bits in the pan.
  3. Stir in the vegetable broth, Worcestershire, and thyme. Add the bay leaf and cook until the soup begins to simmer (low boil). Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. 
  4. Toast baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  5. To prepare the soup for serving, place oven-safe soup crocks on a baking sheet.  Ladle some soup into the bowls, and top each with a toasted baguette slice. Add about 2 tablespoons of cheese over the top of the bread slices.
  6. Broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown in spots. (Pay close attention, so they don’t burn.)  Use oven mitts to remove the pan from the oven. 
  7. Allow the soup to cool for a few minutes, then serve warm.
Looking Into a pot to see caramelized onions in the bottom.
A pot is full of broth topped with two bay leaves.

Storage Tips

Store soup in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep up to 5 days. It can be frozen by transferring it to freezer-safe containers where it will keep up to 3 months. To serve, remove soup and let it come to room temperature. Cook until heated through. Then add toasted bread and vegan cheese on top and broil, until the cheese turns golden brown.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Is French onion soup vegan?

Traditional French onion soup is made with beef broth and topped with mozzarella cheese, so it’s not a vegan soup. However, it’s easy to transform this soup into a vegan delight by using vegetable broth and vegan mozzarella.

What can I use instead of wine in French onion soup?

There may be plenty of reasons you prefer not to cook with wine, however, don’t be left behind on the amazing flavor it adds to this soup. Create a decent substitute by combining 4 tablespoons of whine vinegar with a cup of vegetable broth.

Serving Suggestions

Serve vegan French soup with any of the following:

More Vegan Soup

Two bowls of onion soup has melted cheese on top. There are slices of toasted baguette around them and a spoon by the front bowl.

That’s it for this vegan soup. Enjoy!

Looking down on a bowl of onion soup with a sprig of fresh thyme on the top and melted cheese.

Vegan French Onion Soup

This vegan onion soup is full of all the caramelized onion flavors. It's made with vegetable broth (instead of beef broth) and topped with vegan mozzarella. It's a classic soup recipe veganized to be your next favorite comfort food.
5 from 1 vote
Course: Soup
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 365kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 large onions , peeled and sliced thin (see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 4 medium garlic cloves , peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour (all-purpose or gluten-free)
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 slices baguette (one-inch slices)
  • ¾ cup vegan mozzarella shreds

Instructions

  • Caramelize the onions. Pour the olive oil into a pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in the sugar and cook until the onions are caramelized, stirring regularly.
  • Make a Roux. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour—cook and stir for about 1 minute. Add the wine. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to get the brown bits in the pan.
  • Simmer. Stir in the vegetable broth, Worcestershire, thyme. Add the bay leaf and cook until the soup begins to simmer (low boil). Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.  Use tongs to remove the bay leaf.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toast the bread.  While the soup is cooking, preheat the oven to 400°F.  Place the baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 7 minutes, until the bread is toasted and golden around the edges.  Remove the pan.
  • Broil. Turn the oven to the broiler setting and use oven mitts to place an oven rack on the top tier. Place soup crocks (oven-safe) on a baking sheet.  Ladle some soup into the bowls, and top each with a toasted baguette slice. Add about 2 tablespoons of cheese over the top of the bread slices. Place the pan on the top rack and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden brown in spots. (Pay close attention, so they don't burn.)  Use oven mitts to remove the pan from the oven.
  • Serve. Allow the soup to cool for a few minutes, then serve warm.

Recommended Equipment

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Notes

How to cut onions in thin slices:

  1. Take a whole, unpeeled onion and lay it on its side. Cut off the top and the root end. 
  2. Stand the onion on one of the flat ends. Cut down the onion, cutting it in half, and peel off the outer onion skin.
  3. Lay one of the halves, cut side down. Slice the onion, beginning on the uncut, rounded edge. Once you reach the middle, tip it over and continue making thin slices. Be careful to keep your fingers out of the way as you reach the end of the onion.
  4. Repeat with the other half of the onion.
Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1340mg | Potassium: 428mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 521IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 4mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

2 Responses to Vegan French Onion Soup

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyElana Reply

    5 stars
    I love french onion soup but didn’t realize it was possible to make it vegan. This recipe is so good!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      So glad you like it, Elana!

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