Vegetarian French Onion Soup

A soup made with sweet caramelized onions then topped with crusty bread and melted cheese, French onion soup is one delicious soup!

For many years I longingly admired French onion soup but could never order it as it was always made with beef broth. Me being vegetarian the beef broth is what made it hard to even think about ordering this delicious soup. And so for years I longingly eyed the soup thinking “I wish they would make it vegetarian.” I was sharing these thoughts with my twins nanny Sue Ann years ago when she looked at me with such surprise and commented “You know, its very easy to make it vegetarian!”

French onion soup always looked so decadent that I just assumed it was hard to make. I also thought all the flavor came from beef broth, when in fact the flavor really comes from an abundance of caramelized onions 😋. Sue Ann explained that all I had to do was substitute beef broth with vegetable broth and the rest of the ingredients were vegetarian anyway.

Ever since that conversation I’ve started making vegetarian French onion soup at home and you know what? Its positively delicious!! Now when my family craves French onion soup I just make it at home. I even make it just like what you get at cafes and bistros!

Three easy steps for a decadent delicious soup. About the recipe

This is how easy it is to make a vegetarian French onion soup. Cut up a lot of onions – like 5 large onions! Shallow fry them in butter and olive oil until tender and caramelized. Then add in a few herbs, vegetable broth and bring to a boil. The last step is the fun part. Ladle the soup into oven proof bowls, top with a slice of bread and shredded cheese and then broil until cheese is melted and golden brown.

Sweet oniony flavor with gooey cheese and bread

What makes this soup so decadent is the bread and cheese! The bread and cheese add some heft to this very light soup. When you dunk the bread in the oniony broth the bread absorbs the broth so that you get a delicious bread soaked soup along with melting cheese. Positively yummy!

Vegetarian French Onion Soup
Makes 6 bowls


5 large onions thinly sliced
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp brown sugar
6-8 cups vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
3 slices of sourdough bread cut in half
Paprika for garnish (optional)


Caramelize the onions. In a large pot warm butter and olive oil. Add the onions and shallow fry until tender about 10 minutes. Continue to cook the onions until they are browned, creamy and caramelized. You can close the pot and steam the onions for 15 minutes.

Make the soup. Add the veggie broth, salt, pepper, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Turn the stove off.

Assemble the soup. . Toast the sourdough bread until golden. Ladle the soup evenly among 6 oven proof bowls. Top the soup with bread. Top the bread with shredded cheese.

And broil. Place a baking sheet in the oven. Place the soup bowls on the baking sheet. Broil for 3-5 minutes until cheese is bubbling and melted.

Serve immediately.

4 thoughts on “Vegetarian French Onion Soup”

  1. You answered my Prayers Dolly ! I was looking for a Good Soup Recipe for the Harsh Winter Months. Onion Soup fits the Bill perfectly. Did you know in Delhi , Raw Sliced Onions are served with Main Dishes like Chole as Onions are Great Blood Thinners as well as wonderful for Blood Circulation. Of Course , my favorite is Onion Bhajiyas and Pakodas with Onion/Spinach .

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