100 Days Project, Soups

Day 16 – Vegetarian French Onion Soup


Thank you for your patience Herbivores . . .

I was away up North Saturday night at a friend’s bach (hoilday house), for a quick little get away. I came back on Sunday, but ended up having to take a friend to the hospital and spent most of the night in the A&E. I promise normal posting will returning this week.

Even though I have not been posting I have still been cooking for my 100 Days Project, and going away with friends is the perfect opportunity to cook up a big group meal and try out some new recipes on the unsuspecting eaters.

French Onion Soup is winter classic, but it gains much of it’s traditional flavor from the use of beef stock making the soup not very vegetarian friendly.  I have always been curious about what this soup tastes like, especially since it is normally served in a bowl topped with gooey cheese melted across a bread layer. Anything with melted cheese on it usually gets my attention. So . . . when I came across this recipe from the amazing Jerry James Stone that promised to deliver on the flavor by using coffee to help give the soup a hearty earthy flavor vegetarian versions are normally missing, I have to admit I was intrigued.

Needless to say my meat eating friends were dubious when I told them I was making a soup with coffee in it, but all in all this version of French Onion Soup got the meat eaters thumbs up seal of approval.

French Onion Soup

adapted from: Jerry James Stone


  • 4 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 cups mushroom stock (1 teaspoon of stock powder per cup of water)
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Olive oil
  • Bread slices (I used a whole wheat sourdough)
  • Sliced cheese (Emmentaler or Swiss)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, add the thinly sliced onions and some olive oil. You want just enough olive oil to lightly coat them.

Turn the heat to medium-high and cook the onions down, caramelizing them. Only stir them every five minutes. If they begin to burn instead of caramelizing, reduce the heat a bit. Caramelizing onions is really a balancing act between your burner and the quality of your stock pot.

Once the onions have been reduced, add the mushroom stock.

Add the thyme, white wine and sugar. Bring the mixture to a very low simmer and cook covered for about three hours, stirring occasionally.

While that simmers, brew a single cup of your favorite coffee. Add the cup of coffee to the soup in small batches, stir well and taste. You don’t want your soup to taste like coffee, you just want to enhance the flavor. Depending on how strong you brew yours, you might not use a full cup. Then salt and pepper the soup to taste.

For each serving, fill a ramekin or small bowl with a heaping amount of soup and place it in the large baking dish. You’ll need one bread slice for every serving, and place the bread on top of each filled ramekin or small bowl. Top with a slice of cheese or two (you can never have enough melted cheese).

Place the baking dish under the broiler for a few minutes just until cheese is melty and starting to brown.



2 thoughts on “Day 16 – Vegetarian French Onion Soup

  1. Pingback: Meal 7 – Soup | Rafferty's Rules

  2. Pingback: Meal 11 – Soup | Rafferty's Rules

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