I've been craving that yummy hearty french onion soup topped with bread and cheese lately. But I don't eat meat, so I can't order it in a restaurant. So I cobbled together this version from a bunch of different recipes and used some substitutions to avoid the beef stock, etc. It's very tasty! And easy to do. Also, it's fine to use dried herbs rather than fresh ones.
- 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 2 pounds yellow onions, cut vertically into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1/2 pound Vidalia or other sweet onions, cut vertically into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (such as sauvignon blanc)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
- 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted and washed (reserve the liquid from soaking) and finely chopped (also, when you strain the liquid from the mushrooms, pass it through a coffee filter or paper towel to catch any dirt)
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup water leftover from reconstituting dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- 3 fresh parsley sprigs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices good bread--sourdough or french or rye, toasted in the toaster
- 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. Add onions; cover and cook 12 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in 2 teaspoons thyme; cook, uncovered, until deep golden brown, stirring occasionally.
2. Stir in flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 1 minute. Set aside
3. Heat a saucepan to medium heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Add celery, carrot, reconstituted mushrooms, and bay leaf; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add stock, Worcestershire, and parsley. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. If you want the soup to be more "classic," strain the broth through a fine sieve over a bowl and discard the solids, then add the broth to the onion mixture. I prefer to leave the carrots, celery and mushrooms in the soup, so I add it all to the onion mixture. Add salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer; cook 15 minutes.
4. Preheat broiler to high.
5. Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 4 broiler-safe soup crocks. Top each serving with bread slices to cover the surface area. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Working in batches if needed, place crocks on baking sheet, and broil 1 minute or until tops are golden and cheese bubbles. et voila!