This Vegan French Onion Soup is rich and hearty and topped with cheesy toast!
Is there any soup more comforting than French Onion Soup? It's packed full of sweet, tangy onions, fragrant oregano, and has just a hint of aromatic wine. It's nutritious too, and one of the best ways of fighting off a cold.
The trick to making this soup taste really special is to let the onions cook for a long time until they become really soft and caramelised. Then, when you add the white wine, you need to cook it until it has completely disappeared, which gets rid of any alcoholic taste and sourness, leaving behind an elegant aroma.
Once the water is added and you've left the soup to simmer to let the flavours develop, it's time to thicken it using cornflour (cornstarch). Although French Onion Soup is traditionally thickened with flour, which is added to the cooked onions before the water is added, this gluten-free version uses cornflour, which needs to be added in a different way.
When adding the cornflour, you first need to place it in a small bowl and dissolve it in a tiny amount of water. Then, you can add it carefully to the soup until it thickens up. You must do it this way rather than just adding the cornflour by itself, because otherwise you'll end up with clumps of cornflour throughout the soup.
And now we get to the best part of this Vegan French Onion Soup - the cheesy toast! Instead of using shop-bought vegan cheese, I decided to make my own.
This cheese was inspired by my Vegan Grilled Cheese, which, incidentally, would also be delicious with this soup. Instead of the potatoes that I used for the Grilled Cheese recipe, I decided to use cashew nuts, as they're richer and creamier, and a little more indulgent - just what you need on top of a hearty bowl of French Onion Soup!
The cheese is made stretchy and melty using mochi, which are Japanese sticky rice cakes. Mochi is sold in many different forms, and for this recipe you'll need to use the ones that come in small, hard blocks. You can buy them from the dry goods' section of Asian supermarkets, some local health stores, or online.
When these blocks of mochi are melted, they become sticky, stretchy and gooey, which blend together with the creamy cashews to create an amazing dairy-free cheese.
I decided to flavour the cheese with miso, which adds an salty, fermented flavour, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, and vinegar for a little tang.
I hope you'll love this warming Vegan French Onion Soup. For more soup recipes, check out my:
- Creamy Pumpkin Gnocchi Soup
- Thai Green Curry Rice Soup
- Pea Pasta Minestrone Soup
- Vegan Clam Chowder
- Cream of Asparagus Soup
- Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Creamy Corn Chowder
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Helpful tools to make this Vegan French Onion Soup:
Vegan French Onion Soup (GF)
- 1 tablespoon oil (coconut, vegetable, rapeseed or olive)
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 60 ml (¼ cup) white wine (ensure vegan if necessary)
- 1 vegetable stock cube (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup to taste
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch)
For the cheese:
- 4 slices bread (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- Heat up the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion and garlic once hot
- Fry for around 15 minutes until softened and caramelised
- Add the oregano and white wine, and fry for a further few minutes until the wine has disappeared
- Add the stock cube, agave syrup and salt + pepper, along with 850ml (3 ½ cups) water
- Bring to the boil and simmer on a low heat for around 15 minutes
- Place the cornflour in a small bowl and dissolve in a tiny splash of water
- Keeping the soup on a low heat, add the cornflour paste a tiny bit at a time, stirring constantly and cook for a couple more minutes until thickened. If you think it needs to be thicker, dissolve more cornflour in water and add carefully
For the cheese:
- Place the cashew nuts and mochi in a pan with 50ml (just under ¼ cup) water and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes or so until mochi has melted and become sticky – until soft enough to stick gently pierce with a fork
- Turn off heat and add nutritional yeast, miso, vinegar, salt + pepper
- Use either a blender, food processor or hand-held stick blender (this is the easiest option as you can just do it in the same saucepan) and whizz until completely smooth
- Toast the bread, and carefully spoon a few tablespoons of the cheese over each slice of toast
- Ladle the soup into bowls
- Top with the cheesy toast and enjoy immediately!
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