French Onion Soup Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

French Onion Soup

Traditional French onion soup can come in as high as 39 grams of fat per serving. Ours has just 10.5 and tastes amazing. Slowly caramelizing the onions gives this soup its diner-divine rich flavor (don't try to hurry the onions; they're worth the time!). Slices of toasted sourdough and just enough melted cheese complete the order.



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2 Tbs. unsalted butter
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1 Tbs. vegetable oil
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5 large onions (about 3 lb.), halved and thinly sliced
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3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbs.)
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½ tsp. salt
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2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
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6 cups roasted or low-sodium vegetable broth
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⅓ cup dry sherry
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1 tsp. Dijon mustard
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1 tsp. sherry vinegar
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6 ½-inch slices sourdough bread, toasted
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⅔ cup shredded Jarlsberg or Gruyere cheese


1. Heat butter and oil in heavy, large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and salt, and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to very low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 50 to 60 minutes, until onions are very tender and brown.

2. Stir in flour, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Blend in broth, sherry and mustard. Cover, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sherry vinegar.

3. Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into six heatproof bowls. Top each with slice of toast and grated cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot.

Nutrition Information: 

9 g
Total Fat: 
10 g
Saturated Fat: 
4 g
39 g
18 mg
794 mg
5 g
7 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

Looks a lot like my old standby. I'll try this soon!

sounds lovely, but with addition of sherry and sherry vinegar it's more like "Spanish Onion Soup"

This is FANTASTIC! I made this tonight and it was sooo easy and came out great. My boyfriend loved it to. Didn't have the recommended cheese so I used provolone and it was yummy. Def. recommend.

This is a fantastic recipe and I have been making it since first seeing in Vegetarian Times magazine. This is the French onion soup my husband compares the others to. It can be made vegan, but you must use yellow Spanish onions. Using panoche or sweet onions does not make it taste good (they get horribly mushy and are too sweet). To make this vegan, you can use Daiya mozzarella on top, but it takes a lot to melt this (needs to be done under the broiler). This dish is absolutely scrummy.

your french onion soup heat the spot on a cold night i want something different so i tried it and it did the job i well mack it again you have good recipe to tray so keep up the good work

I made some substitutions to match what I had on-hand and it turned out to be quite delicious - here are my substitutions in case it is helpful to anyone else: 1. used Vidalia onions 2. used mushroom broth 3. instead of sherry - used beer 4. instead of sherry vinegar - used malt vinegar 5. instead of Gruyere, used a slice of Havarti over each oven proof bowl

My mom hates that I don't eat anything she cooks becuase I'm a vegetarian, so she found this recipe and gave it a try. It was amazing and tasted exactly how French onion soup is supposed to taste. The meat eaters in my family couldn't tell the difference between this recipe and one made with beef broth. I highly reccomend this!!

My onions NEVER browned. Not even close after an hour. Too much juice from the onions I think. I wish I knew how others' got theirs to turn out so good.

Delicious. We were too conservative with the heat while caramelizin the onions at first - I'd describe the required heat as low-medium. We also added 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms to the stock and let them soak for a few hours to add additional umami flavor.

Smells wonderful!

Do you have to use sherry and sherry vinegar? Can you suggest replacement please

This is so great, I forgot to add the vinegar but it turned out fantastic. I'm glad I double the recipe. I shared it with several people and they were all very pleased.

Totally delicious! Hubby loved it. Topped with a piece of deli marble rye and pumpernickel bread toasted then a slice of swiss cheese.....

Incredibly disappointing and misleading recipe. Took nearly three hours to get the onions to a slightly golden color, not fifty minutes to brown. Very bland, flavorless soup. Also far too many onions for the amount of broth. I only used four, and still believed the amount of onion was excessive. Would not recommend this recipe.

Great recipe! After trip to France I had to have French onion soup regularly, but as a vegetarian I needed to find a beef-free option. This is it. Trial and error tips to share: add a small amount of sugar while browning onions. This really helps get the nice caramelized color. Also, put bread in a low oven until it is seriously crouton hard. By eliminating all moisture in bread it will not act like a sponge and soak up all the broth. And finally, you absolutely must use gruyere cheese. Sure others will work, but it just isn't fabulous without it.

This was awesome. I substituted the sherry with white wine and the sherry vinegar with white wine vinegar because that's what I had and it was great. I also cooked the onions over medium heat so they did get brown. You just have to stir often and keep an eye on them.

A low simmer doesn't get the onions anywhere close to being brown enough. Too much liquid, no bay leaves, no tang. I'll go back to using the one I used previously from Just not tasty enough. Close but no cigar.

SORRY!!! NOT vegetarian if you use Jarlsberg Cheese!! Shame on you - you should know!!

Bill Abernathy... you probably shouldn't speak of things you don't know about. Vegetarians do eat eggs and dairy. Look it up dude. You are thinking vegan.

Bill Abernathy, cheese is not vegetarian. The use rennet, which is obtained from calf stomachs to make it. There are cheeses that use vegetable rennet, but you have to research to find them.

Jason's Deli has a awesome Vegetarian French Onion Soup, if you don't want to cook.

Not bad as a base recipe and will use it again in the future. I did not have some of the ingredients so I improvised. I prepared the onions as directed but after an hour I turned up the heat and cooked them until they were browned. For replacements, I used olive oil, red wine vinegar, marsala, fresh parmesan. I did not have Dijon mustard so I made some. During the simmering time, I taste tested it and it seemed very bland so I added a bit of sea salt, fresh ground pepper another tablespoon of the mustard and about 1/4 cup of merlot. No, it was not a traditional onion soup, but it was definitely a big hit and I will be making it again with these same modifications or try something different.

Without getting involved in vegetarian or not debates ( and I know vegetarians that eat cheese, vegans don't) you can get non meat based tenant cheese by purchasing Kosher cheese. Note it has to be certified kosher.