Vegetarian French Onion Soup – recipe

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What’s not vegetable about an onion?  There are no French in the soup.  I hope not?  So why a special version for onion soup?

For those in doubt, there are no French men, or women, in the soup.  However, traditionally, French cows have found their way into the soup as beef broth.   Fortunately it’s an easy fix to keep the cows out of the soup and back in the field where they can continue to produce methane and CO2.  The recipe below is the traditional French Onion Soup recipe, with vegetable broth substituted for beef broth and a couple of teaspoons of soy sauce substituted for salt.  The soy sauce adds salt and a little color to the soup.  Other vegetarian variations use a little miso paste to add  both color and a little different flavor, instead of soy sauce.   Some recipes use Better Than Bouillon (Vegetable Base) instead of canned vegetable broth.  The substitution of vegetable broth for beef broth really doesn’t hurt the soup a bit.  It’s still great stuff, even if a little messy to eat.

1.5 pounds onions

3 ounces butter

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon paprika

1 bay leaf

2 to 3 teaspoons soy sauce (to taste), or miso paste to taste

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1.5 quarts vegetable broth, 3 – 15 oz. cans will do 

Mozzarella cheese, about 1.5 ounces per serving (optional)

toasted French bread or croutons (optional)

Slice onions in half, then into thin 1/8 inch slices.  Saute onions in butter  20 minutes or longer until soft and translucent.  Add paprika, pepper, bay leaf and flour; stirring into the onions for about 5 minutes.  Add vegetable broth slowly while stirring the soup.   Bring back to a covered simmer for at least 20 minutes.  Add soy sauce or miso at the end of cooking to taste and color.  To serve:  pour into individual bowls, top with the bread or croutons, lay cheese on top of bread,  melt cheese under broiler or in the microwave (microwave works just fine).

Soup, croutons, melted mozzarella and a hint of parmesan

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