Easy Homemade Vegan French Onion Soup that tastes like traditional French onion soup, only this is made with vegetable stock and vegan mozzarella cheese. It has a rich and flavorful broth and gooey melted vegan mozzarella on top. SO GOOD! If you love caramelized onions as much as we do, this soup is going to rock your vegan life. So will our Onion Confit Tartlets and our Baked Onions with Fennel Breadcrumbs recipe.
This recipe was originally published on October 15, 2014 and updated on August 25, 2019.
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Hi there! We’re Linda and Alex, the mother daughter duo and creators of Veganosity. Thanks for visiting us, we’re so happy you’re here. If you’re looking for Southern inspired vegan comfort food recipes, you’ve come to the right place.
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DAIRY-FREE FRENCH ONION SOUP
We’re not going to lie, when we went vegan (almost 6 years ago), we thought the days of making French onion soup were over.
Although we had used vegetable stock to make ours, because we didn’t eat beef or pork, we never thought that we could find a vegan mozzarella to layer over the soup and toasted bread.
Then we discovered that we could make our own plant-based mozzarella cheese and our lives were changed.
We’re so excited to share this easy French onion soup recipe with you, and can’t wait to hear what you think about it.
QUICK FRENCH ONION SOUP RECIPE
Add the word, French, to a recipe and people shy away. The French are known for creating complex and fancy foods that most home cooks are afraid to make.
Here’s the thing, this onion soup is SO easy to make!
The most time-consuming part is caramelizing the onions, but that only takes about 15 minutes, and the way they’ll make your kitchen smell is totally worth it.
Once the onions are ready, it’s all about adding ingredients and stirring. EASY!
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED TO MAKE FRENCH ONION SOUP?
The ingredients in this homemade French onion soup recipe are super basic.
- White onions – they need to be thinly sliced. Make sure you slice them evenly so they cook evenly.
- Vegan butter - we use Miyoko’s or Earth Balance
- Extra-virgin olive oil – use the best quality oil you can find because flavor matters.
- Red wine or balsamic vinegar if you don’t cook with wine.
- Flour – this will give the soup body.
- Vegetable stock or no beef broth
- Bay leaves
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Sliced and toasted French bread
- Vegan mozzarella cheese – there are several brands we like. Violife shredded or Miyoko’s Mozz are our favorites.
Toppings are optional. Feel free to eat the soup without if you want.
HOW DO YOU MAKE VEGAN FRENCH ONION SOUP?
The base of vegan or vegetarian French onion soup is the same, you swap out the beef broth for a plant-based broth.
To make it more flavorful we buy vegetable stock. Stock is richer than broth and works best for this soup.
You can also buy a no-beef bouillon if you like. Just follow the instructions to make 64 ounces of broth.
Caramelize the onions in the butter and olive oil.
This will take approximately 15 minutes and you’ll need to stir the onions often to prevent them from burning.
Add the wine or vinegar and stir. Cook until it reduces to a thick gravy like consistency.
Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to coat.
The flour adds body to the soup.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the stock/broth, thyme, and salt and pepper and bring it to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Fill the bowls with the soup and put a piece of toasted bread on top and then cover with shredded vegan mozzarella cheese.
Put the bowls under the broiler and let the cheese melt and bubble.
Make sure to watch the soup carefully when broiling so it doesn’t burn.
HOW TO MAKE QUICK CARAMELIZED ONIONS
There isn’t a way to hurry up caramelized onions. They need time.
If you turn the heat up, you’ll burn them. It’s just reality, my friend.
Having said that, it only takes 15 minutes to caramelize onions for French onion soup because you want them to be lightly caramelized.
If you’re caramelizing onions until they’re completely caramelized and a deep golden brown, you’ll need to set aside approximately 20 minutes.
Heat the vegan butter and olive oil over medium heat until the butter is just beginning to bubble.
Add the thinly sliced onions and stir to coat in the butter and oil.
NOTE: Make sure you slice the onions evenly so they cook evenly.
Cook the onions on medium heat until they soften then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how brown you want them to be.
CAN YOU MAKE FRENCH ONION SOUP WITHOUT WINE?
Yes, you absolutely can.
If you don’t cook with alcohol, you can substitute a good balsamic vinegar for this recipe.
The wine adds a lovely flavor and acid to the soup, and although the flavor of balsamic isn’t quite like wine, it gets the job done.
You can also caramelize onions with balsamic vinegar whenever a recipe calls for wine.
ARE ONIONS HEALTHY?
Yes! Here are some of the nutrients they provide:
- Vitamin C
They're also low in sodium and are fat free. To read more about this amazing plant food, click HERE.
MORE VEGAN SOUP RECIPES YOU’LL LIKE
ITALIAN LEMON ROSEMARY BARLEY SOUP
SPICY GREEN CAULIFLOWER AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS SOUP
CREAMY ROASTED CARROT, GARLIC, AND ROSEMARY SOUP
VEGAN MINESTRONE SOUP WITH ARUGULA
Make our homemade easy vegan French onion soup and let us know what you think. We love to hear from you! And, don’t forget to take a picture of your gorgeous creation and tag us @veganosity on Instagram.
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EASY HOMEMADE VEGAN FRENCH ONION SOUP
- 4 tablespoon vegan butter we use Miyoko’s or Earth Balance
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 cups white onion thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup red wine (or 1 tbs red wine vinegar if you don't drink wine)
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 64 ounce vegetable stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoon dried ground thyme
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Sliced and toasted French bread
- Vegan mozzarella cheese see note
- Heat the 4 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoon olive oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat.
- When the butter is melted and beginning to bubble, add the onions and stir to coat in the butter and oil.
- Stir the onions often, and once they soften (approximately 5 minutes), reduce the temperature to medium-low heat and continue to stir until they lightly caramelize, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. They should be a light golden color.
- Add the 1 cup of wine or 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to the onions and stir to coat. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced.
- Add the 2 tablespoon flour and stir to coat the onions. Cook for one minute.
- Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
- Pour in the 64 oz of vegetable broth, 2 teaspoon dried thyme, 2 bay leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer for 15 minutes.
- Fill 6 to 8 bowls with the soup and then place one slice of toasted bread on top of the soup and sprinkle a liberal amount of the vegan mozzarella on top of the bread and broil until the cheese is melted and browned on the edges. Keep your eyes on it the ENTIRE time it’s under the broiler so it doesn’t burn.
Absolutely phenomenal! I tweaked my soup a bit from the recipe, but it was great! I used a stick of vegan butter vs. butter and oil to carmelize my onions. I did a low-medium heat for about 45m to caramelize the onions. I then sprinkled the onions with GF flour and added in the garlic. Then I added 1 cup of cabernet sauvignon for about 10m, then followed by 64oz of veggie broth, 2 tsp of oregano (I don't care for thyme), 2 bay leaves, and salt/pepper to taste. Simmered for 15 minutes. Topped with french baguette slices and Aldi's shredded mozzarella. My husband was very pleased and requested we make it again whenever we have company! 🙂
Linda & Alex says
Thank you! We're so happy you and your husband enjoyed the recipe. 🙂
Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve been dreaming of this soup for such a long time and finally had the time to make it. It’s SO good, almost cried for how perfect it is. Truly one of my favorite foods now, thank you!
Linda Meyer says
Thank you so much, Aurora! This makes us so happy to read! Thank you for taking the time to comment. 🙂
Followed directions except for the cheese cause and bread. I didn’t have any vegan cheese. Didn’t taste like French onion. Used red wine vinegar. Still had quite a vinegar taste. Added much more garlic. Soup was still good.
Linda Meyer says
Hi B, we're happy it still tasted good. We've made this many times and it always tastes like the real deal, although we add wine instead of the vinegar. Thanks for your comment, we appreciate it. 🙂
I missed in the instructions when to add the bay leaves so I totally forgot about them. I used the balsamic vinegar and the soup really really tastes like it. Not sure how to remedy that?
Linda Meyer says
Hi Brigitte, leaving out the bay leaf isn't a big deal, it will only change the flavor a little bit. Bringing the broth to a full boil and then simmering for 15 minutes should have reduced the flavor of the balsamic. It's like making a balsamic glaze, it makes it sweeter and takes away some of the sharpness of the vinegar. We suggest adding another cup of the vegetable stock and another tbsp of butter to cut the vinegar. We hope that works.
The French Onion Soup recipe calls for 1 qt. veg. stock and 1 qt. veg. broth; are the one and the same? in the directions, no mention is made of the veg. stock....
Linda Meyer says
Hi Dorothy! Sorry about that, it's fixed now. Stock is stronger in flavor than broth, which is why I used both. If you prefer a lighter flavor you can use 2 quarts of broth. Enjoy!