Hearty Vegan French Onion Soup
Perfect Indulgence Food, Fit for Sharing
Veganism has always had one of those stigmas of flavourless, boring foods as well as loftier than thou people to match, but I would like to show, through a selection of delicious and sumptuous recipes, that isn't the case. Vegan food doesn't need to be boring and tasteless, in fact, quite the opposite.
Like many of you, I made the choice to become vegan around a year ago and immediately found that food became a much more labour intensive and expensive endeavour that, for me was something that I wasn't happy to accept.
After an exhausting search through supermarkets, online ordering, and several recipe books, I started working with recipes that I liked from a wide variety of sources; meat-based and vegetarian, then began to create simple vegan alternatives that wouldn't break the bank or require 100 different spices or obscure ingredients.
This French onion soup is one of my favourite dishes to serve when I host dinner parties or just as an indulgent treat and meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike, love the rich and sumptuous flavour. For me, this is a recipe that can be enjoyed all year round, the rich aroma and flavour of the caramelised onions make it the ideal appetiser to get your pallet wanting more and more, serve it with fresh cut bread or crunchy croutons and you have a beautiful light main meal that will leave you fulfilled and satisfied.
What You'll Need
- 6-8 Large white onions, roughly chopped
- 1l Vegetable stock, you can use bouillon cubes or freshly made stock
- 400ml Brown ale, any dark ale or stout will work
- 1tbsp Olive oil
- 1tbsp Vegan butter alternative
- 1tbsp Nutritional yeast
- 1tbsp Plain flour
- 2tsp Brown sugar
- 1tsp salt
- Lemon juice to taste
- Preheat oil in a large, non-stick saucepan on a medium to high heat. Lightly fry the onions until soft and fragrant, stirring frequently, approx 10-15 minutes.
- Add the butter, brown sugar and salt and mix well, making sure that your onions are well coated. Cover and gently simmer on a medium/low heat, stirring occasionally until onions are reduced and beautifully golden, approx 2 hours. By this stage, your onion mix should be tender enough to melt in the mouth and have a rich, sweet flavour. Add a little extra salt if overly sweet.
- Remove from the heat, gradually add the flour and nutritional yeast, mixing as you go, until your mix resembles a thick, paste.
- Pour in the ale and vegetable stock, add a few drops of lemon juice and mix well, then taste. If too sweet, add a few more drops of lemon juice. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring regularly. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, and gently simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Add any further salt and lemon juice at during this stage to allow full incorporation.
Serve immediately with thick, fresh cut bread or croutons.
Note: This soup should be eaten while fresh, it does not refrigerate or freeze well, the flour tends to separate, leaving it a little lumpy.
Serves 6-8 portions.
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