There is one soup that I seem to have time and time again. It has become my sister’s specialty, with her bringing it to a few family dinners and even making a special version of it for Christmas Eve. While it may not seem that special, onion soup is easy to make and very satisfying (especially when the weather is blistering cold!).
The first fifteen minutes of cooking require some attention, as you don’t want the butter to burn or the onions to brown. The remainder of the recipe does not require as much attention, even though total cooking time will end up close to 2 or 2.5 hours. I was able to get a lot of cleaning done as I cooked, and even get started on another recipe.
I started by prepping all of the onions for chopping. After chopping, I only had to stop once because my eyes were tearing up so badly. I still haven’t found a good way to prevent crying while chopping onions and am open to any suggestions!
The cooking is divided into a few steps. After the first 15 minutes, you’ll see that the onions have cooked down just a little bit, but it isn’t until the next set of cooking that they really start to change color. You’re looking for a golden color which should be achieved in around 30 to 40 minutes.
Notes: I cooked in a large dutch oven so that it would move easily from cooking the onions to simmering the soup. Make sure that whatever you use, your pot is deep enough to hold 3 quarts of liquid so as to prevent any overflowing.
- 1.5lb thinly sliced yellow onions
- 3Tb Earth Balance
- 1Tb oil
- 1tsp salt
- 1/4tsp vegan sugar
- 3Tb flour
- 2qt boiling vegetable stock (or 2qt boiling water with vegan bouillon)
- 1/2c dry white wine or dry white vermouth
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3Tb cognac
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, cook the onions slowly with the butter and oil, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover and stir in the salt and sugar. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions have turned a deep, even, golden brown.
Sprinkle in the flour and stir for approx. 3 minutes.
Blend in the boiling stock. Add the wine and season to taste. Simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 minutes. Correct the seasoning. Stir in the cognac just before serving. Pour the soup over the toasted bread and pass the cheese separately.
- French bread, cut into 1in. thick slices
- Earth Balance
Preheat the oven to 325F. Place the bread in one layer on a baking sheet and into the oven until lightly browned (approx. 30min).
At this point you can either remove the bread, spread a little bit of olive oil or Earth Balance on it and rub with cut garlic, or you can sprinkle some of your favorite vegan cheese (vegan Parmesan or some vegan Swiss) and put it back into the oven to melt. When serving, put the bread at the bottom of the bowl and pour the soup over it.