For the Love of Soup: French Onion Soup

Most of the recipes I share are quick, easy, and healthy. French onion doesn't fit into any of those categories, but it's too delicious not to share. This recipe takes the classic version and makes it vegetarian. The ingredients themselves are simple and inexpensive (minus the cheese), but the cooking process is a labor of love. The resulting flavor is buttery, salty, and oh so rich. I made a full pot of the soup for myself (spread over a few dinners), but french onion soup is gourmet enough for date night in or for company. 

Vegetarian French Onion Soup
Serves 4

3 large yellow onions, sliced
1 small white onion, sliced
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of sugar
1 Tbsp whole wheat flour
6 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water + 2-3 tablespoons
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 cup white wine

For serving
1/2 pound Gruyere cheese
4-6 slices crusty bread, toasted

In a heavy bottomed stock pot, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add in the sliced onions and stir to combine. Cover the pot and cook for ten minutes. Remove the lid and stir in the salt and sugar. Continue cooking the onions uncovered, stirring frequently, until the onions become a caramel brown color. This takes about an hour. 

Slowly add a tablespoon of water to the pot to help remove any bits of onion and butter that may be adhered to the bottom of the pot. Repeat this process if needed to get all the flavor bits off the bottom. Stir in the flour and cook for two minutes. 

Add the broth, water, and poultry seasoning. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot and reduce the heat until the soup is simmering. Simmer for twenty minutes. Pour in the wine and continue simmering for another ten minutes. Remove from heat and ladle into oven safe bowls.*

Turn on the broiler or set the oven to its highest temperature setting. Top each bowl with a slice or two of toasted bread and as much cheese as desired. Broil until the cheese becomes bubbly and crispy, about ten minutes. 

Give the soup a few minutes to cool ever so slightly and serve immediately. 

*If making the soup in advance, stop here. Save the broiling until right before serving. 

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