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Classic Vegan French Onion Soup

Sharon Palmer

Ahh, a good French onion soup…rich in caramelized onions mixed in a savory broth, topped with toasted french bread and cheese. I took a journey to create a vegan classic French onion soup, which was as authentic as possible. So, I scoured old French cookbooks to discover the classic elements of this soup, and then started testing out vegan versions in my kitchen. Here’s the secret: It’s all in the onions—pounds and pounds of them caramelized in the pot to create the rich flavor we have grown to cherish.

You start with good yellow onions, sauté them in an ovenproof pot or Dutch oven, and roast them in the oven—pot and all—for about 15 minutes. This thoroughly caramelizes the onions—your whole kitchen will smell divine! Then, return the pot to the stove and cook it up with herbs, broth, and white wine. Once again, return the pot to the oven to toast the bread sprinkled with plant-based cheese. I love to serve this whole pot on the dining room table, and let people dig and refill their bowls as often as they like. I add a hearty salad to go with this meal (and a good bottle of wine!). You can also prepare this soup individually in oven-proof bowls—baking the bread on top of each bowl to crusty perfection. This recipe originally appeared in my classic book, The Plant-Powered Diet. But it is one of my dearest creations, so I’m featuring it here on my blog today. I hope it wins a place in your hearts and menus!

This cast iron dutch oven is great for making soups, like my French Onion soup.


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Classic Vegan French Onion Soup

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(2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: The Plant-Powered Dietitian
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This vegan French onion soup is as authentic as possible, relying on caramelized onions, a savory vegetable broth, and toasted bread with plant-based cheese.





  • 10 small slices (1 ounce each) whole wheat French bread
  • ¾ cup shredded plant-based Swiss cheese


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  3. Stir in the flour and black pepper. Put the uncovered pot into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  4. While the onion mixture is baking, place the bread on a baking sheet and add to the oven. Bake until crisp (5 minutes), then set aside.
  5. Turn off the oven and transfer the pot to the stovetop. Add the water, bouillon cubes, wine, bay leaf, and thyme and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until the onions are tender, about 35 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
  6. Heat the oven to 450 F. Arrange the toasted bread slices on top of the soup, either in the pot or distributed among individual oven-safe bowls. Sprinkle each slice of bread with 1 tablespoon of the shredded cheese.
  7. Place the large pot or ovenproof bowls, uncovered, into the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and the soup is bubbly. If serving out of the soup pot, scoop the soup into individual bowls and top each with one slice of cheese-covered bread.
  8. Makes 3 quarts (about 10 servings).


If you’d like to omit the plant-based cheese, drizzle each slice of bread with ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil before baking the soup.

  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 210
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Sodium: 183 mg
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 4 g

Keywords: vegan french onion soup, best french onion soup, classic vegan soup

For other plant-based soup recipes, check out these:

Delicata Squash Soup with Chinese 5 Spice
French Wild Rice Vegetable Soup
Indian-Style Yellow Lentil Stew

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