French Onion Soup (Vegetarian)


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces (olive oil for vegan)
  • 4 lbs yellow onions, halved and sliced vertically into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 cups water, plus extra for deglazing
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small baguette, cut into 1-inch slices (best if a few days old, so it’s crusty)
  • 4 – 6 slices of Swiss cheese (sliced thickly)


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Coat the inside of a large cast iron Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot with non-stick spray. Add butter, onions, and 1 tsp salt and cook, covered, for 1 hour.
  3. Remove the pot from the oven, stir the onions, and cook, mostly covered but with the lid slightly ajar, another hour.
  4. Stir again, scraping the sides of the pot, and continue cooking another 30-45 minutes until the onions are very soft and golden brown.
  5. Move the Dutch oven to the stovetop and set on medium-high heat. Cook, uncovered and stirring regularly, until the liquid evaporates, the onions turn a darker brown, and a dark crust begins to form on the bottom of the pot, about 20-25 minutes.
  6. Deglaze with 1/4 cup water. Scrape the bottom of the pot to remove the fond.
  7. Continue cooking until another dark crust has formed. Continue to deglaze with water 3 more times until the onions are very dark brown.
  8. Deglaze a final time with the sherry and cook, stirring, until the liquid evaporates, about 5 more minutes.
  9. Add 2 cups water, the broth, thyme, bay leaf, and additional 1/2 tsp salt. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer, scraping any remaining fond from the bottom and sides of the pot.
  10. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, another 30 minutes.
  11. Remove the thyme and bay leaf and adjust seasoning to taste.
  12. Meanwhile, toast the baguette slices in a toaster oven or 400 degree oven (or … if the bread was a few days old, skip this step).
  13. When ready to serve, top a bowl of soup with two slices of bread, a slice or two of Swiss, and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

Freeze left-overs for later in individual portions, without cheese.  Then thaw, reheat, and when almost ready, put cheese on the top and broil for a few minutes to melt/brown the cheese.  This was a great recipe!!  Made about 8 individual servings.





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