My love affair with French onion soup is a direct result of my father in law making it for dinner one night while we were down there visiting them. I’d never had a soup of just onions, since they were a forbidden food in my house growing up because my dad despised them (and still does). Dad in law’s soup used Pacifica brand French Onion soup as the base, with softened onions swirling around, all underneath a crust of provolone cheese broiled perfectly atop a crusty piece of thick cut bread. So simple, so glorious. I adopted his methods exactly for the past few winters, filling the house with that Frenchy, oniony, soupy smell.

But those boxes of soup are getting pricier and pricier, which led me to improvise my own method for getting the perfect French Onion soup that makes everyone come running for a bowl. And it had to be vegetarian all the way through, because I only make occasional exemptions for chicken broth (no chunks allowed) when I am dining away from home, one notable exemption being soup at Amelie’s. I hate to say it, but I like my French onion soup now WAY more than the boxed kind. To the point where the boxed kind isn’t even very good anymore.

Now we shall take this…

to this…

French Onion Soup


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 medium yellow onions (or two giant Spanish onions)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup pinot grigio
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 non beef bouillon cubes*
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Slice(s) of crusty bread, lightly toasted (I like to use sourdough or French bread)
  • 3-4 slices of provolone cheese


  1. Put the butter and olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add onions and garlic and saute for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently so the onions don’t caramelize.
  2. Add the pinot grigio to deglaze the pot, then stir.
  3. Add the stock, water, bouillon cubes and soy sauce. Stir and reduce heat to medium low. Leave simmering for an hour.
  4. When you’re ready to serve: Set the oven to the broil setting. Use a ladle to fill an oven safe bowl 3/4 of the way full. Fill the bowl with however many slices of bread of takes to cover the surface area.

Cover the bread with 3-4 slices of provolone cheese. Set under broiler and watch closely. Remove from oven when the top of the cheese is bubbling and lightly browned. Eat immediately once it’s cooled enough!

Side view…

*I am in love with the Edward & Son’s Natural Bouillon Cubes for this soup. They are vegan, gluten-free, and incredibly flavorful. I haven’t used the Not Chick’n yet, but it’s on my shopping list for my next trip to Earth Fare.