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several bowls of french onion soup topped with bread, cheese, and fresh herbs

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

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5 from 20 reviews

  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


An easy and delicious VEGETARIAN French Onion Soup that’s vegan friendly and SO so good on cold winter nights!


  • 3 pounds of yellow onions (about 5 large), peeled and sliced (I cut mine in half and then slice them into half moons)
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (use vegan where applicable)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar (you can use coconut sugar here if you’d prefer)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 8 cups of vegetable broth*
  • 1/2 cup of red wine**
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire***
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme (can use dried if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices of French bread (or something similar), cut into thick slices
  • 1 cup of Gruyere cheese, freshly grated (optional or sub for vegan cheese)


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive over medium high heat. Once hot, add in the sliced onions and begin to caramelize. Cook, stirring often, until the onions start to soften, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add in the butter and continue to cook the onions until they begin to brown, about 15-20 additional minutes. Really watch it and adjust the heat if the onions are starting to burn at all. You want them to slowly cook so that they brown slowly.
  3. Stir in the sugar and salt and continue cooking for 15 more minutes until the onions become well browned. During the last couple of minutes, add in the garlic and continue to stir.
  4. Deglaze the pot by stirring in the red wine and use a wooden spoon to scrap any bits and flavor from the sides and bottom of the pot. Stir in the veggie broth, worchestire sauce, bay leaves, thyme, and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Stir every few minutes.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush or spray the slices of bread with oil or cooking spray and place on a baking sheet. Toast for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. You want the bread to be lightly toasted. Once done, set aside.
  6. Season soup to taste with additional salt and pepper as needed. Ladle the soup into oven proof bowls, top with the toasted bread, and even sprinkle the cheese across the 4 bowls. Place the bowls on a large baking tray and broil in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbling around the sides.**
  7. Serve immediately and ENJOY!


  • *More so than other broths, I’ve noticed that veggie broths have a great range of sodium levels. If yours is low sodium then you may need a smidge more salt to the soup
  • **I like something like merlot or pinot noir here
  • ***Check to make sure it’s vegetarian as some have anchovies in them
  • **if you don’t have oven proof bowls or don’t want to fiddle with it, you can melt the cheese on the toast before placing it on top of the soup and then not worry with that final step of broiling the soup.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: american