vegan french onion soup in a soup bowls

French Onion Soup

Sweet caramelised onions and a hearty vegetable stock make this classic soup a perfect warmer for the winter months.

Course Appetizer, Starter
Cuisine French, Vegan
Tags french onion soup, vegan
Servings 4


  • 1 kg white or brown onions around 4-5 large
  • 1 tbsp non-dairy butter or spread
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed or finely minced
  • 200 ml dry white wine see notes
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 L vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp marmite or yeast extract
  • 1 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce see notes
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke see notes
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast see notes
  • 4 slices of french baguette thick cut
  • 1 garlic clove raw
  • 30 g vegan cheese see notes
  • Fresh chives finely chopped
  • Fresh parsley finely chopped


  1. Dice the onions, then heat the butter (1 tbsp) and oil (2 tbsp) in a large saucepan. Once the butter has melted, add the onions. Stir well until all the onion is coated and once they have started to soften slightly, add in the sugar (1 tbsp), baking soda (1/4 tsp) and crushed garlic cloves. Simmer on low-medium and allow to soften for 10-15 minutes until golden, stirring regularly.

  2. Meanwhile prepare the stock. To a litre of hot vegetable stock, add the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce (1 tbsp each), marmite, worcestershire, liquid aminos and nutritional yeast (1 tsp each). Mix well with a fork or a whisk until everything is dissolved and combined.

  3. Once the onions are caramelised, de-glaze the pan with the white wine (200ml). Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes to cook off the alcohol and make sure all the little bits come up from the bottom of the pan to flavour the sauce. Then add the flour (2 tbsp), mix well and cook for 1-2 more minutes.

  4. Add the stock and simmer on low-medium for 10-15 minutes until it has thickened slightly. Season to taste.
  5. To make the croutons, slice the garlic clove in half and rub the slices of baguette with it. Then place them under the grill for a couple of minutes each side, until browned. Grate the vegan cheese (30g) and sprinkle evenly onto the slices, along with a little of the fresh chives and parsley. Place back under the grill until the cheese has melted.

  6. Ladle the soup into bowls and place the croutons on top. VoilĂ ! A delicious soup to serve as a starter or simply for a cosy dinner with a glass of the leftover wine.

Recipe Notes

For a slightly sweeter depth of flavour you could use only 700g onions and top it up with 300g of shallots.

You can find suitable wine options on Barnivore as most beers and wines aren't vegan due to the filtration process.

Products I used: Biona Worcester Sauce, Colgin's Natural Hickory Liquid Smoke, Marigold Nutritional Yeast Flakes, Sheese White Cheddar Vegan Block.