The snow and icicles have arrived. All of a sudden, I've had a craving for soup. It also happens to be onion time here in Ohio, as the earth rests before another growing season.
After a long day of pre-semester planning yesterday, I needed a break. This soup is a serious slow-yourself-down-already kind of food. It's not magic. It takes time, about an hour and a half. It includes steps like stirring onions on the stovetop and watching bread toast. This is not a distracted person type of meal. But, I've come to realize that sometimes some forced relaxation is just what I need.
Even better than slowing you down, this soup is ridiculously delicious and quite impressive. It will make your house smell all onion-y and amazing. It may even help you cope with the fact that for some crazy reason you moved from warm, sunny Georgia to cold, snowy Cleveland.
Vegetarian French Onion Soup
Recipe adapted from www.cdkitchen.com
Makes 4 servings
- 6 c water
- 2 tbsp Vegetarian Better Than Bouillon (low sodium, if you can find it)
- 6 tbsp butter
- 3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 4 tsp flour
- 1/2 c wine, optional (I used leftover white wine)
- Ground black pepper
- 1/2 a loaf of healthy artisan bread, sliced into 8 small slices (or leftover French/Italian bread)
- Olive oil
- Italian seasoning (or garlic powder and oregano)
- Parmesean cheese
- 8 slices of provolone cheese, or enough to cover 4 bowls
In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the thinly sliced onions and continue to cook them over low heat, stirring often, until they're light brown, about 20 or 25 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook it for a couple more minutes, to thicken. Add the wine to deglaze the pot. Cook the wine mixture until you don't smell the alcohol in it anymore, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the prepared vegetarian broth and black pepper to taste. Cover the pot and let it continue to cook for about 45 minutes.
In the mean time, prepare the bread. Set your oven to broil. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and bake them in the broiler for a few minutes, just until toasted. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, turn the slices over, sprinkle them with olive oil, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese. Put them back in the broiler for just a couple minutes more, until the cheese is starting to melt. Leave the broiler on once you're done, as you'll need it again.
Once the bread and the soup is prepared, it's time to plate it. Put two small slices of bread at the bottom of 4 oven-safe bowls, preferably with handles. Place the bowls on a baking sheet and divide the soup between the 4 bowls. Finally, cover the bowls with provolone cheese with some overhang (I used 2 slices per bowl). Place the baking sheet carefully in the broiler and cook it until the cheese is melted, bubbling, and starting to brown. Serve immediately, being careful that the bowls are very hot!