Many years ago, when I had adopted a vegetarian-but-not-yet-vegan diet, my family was good about accepting my choices, though we did have to work out what would and would not be comfortable for me to be around. The hamburger I could handle, the pig roast wasn’t going to happen. While some of them were even willing to try a few things that I made (though I was a terrible cook back then) I can guarantee that they were ecstatic to get back to their “regular” food.
Most of us have had to navigate the non-vegan family waters as we change our diets and lifestyles. One of the best ways to deal with it is to bring vegan food to meals and parties. This solves two problems – it ensures that we have something to eat, plus we can share some delicious vegan food with our loved ones. Don’t think your Uncle Joe will try it? The solution is in Kristy Turner’s new cookbook But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan!
In this book, Kristy gives options for every situation, with food that even hardcore meat-eaters will love. She takes us from “My family demands bacon and eggs for breakfast” through “If forced to choose between chicken wings and me, my spouse would choose the wings”, all the way to “But this recipe has been passed down for generations!”.
As you read Kristy’s introduction, you’ll be nodding your head in agreement as you see yourself and your family in the pages, smiling as you find out how it all turned out, and then getting to the good stuff – the incredible recipes! (And if you love this book, be sure to check out her first one, But I Could Never Go Vegan!)
Today I’m happy to be sharing the recipe for Kristy’s French Onion Soup. It is easy and delicious and will wow anyone who comes over for dinner. Let us know if you make it!
French Onion Soup
Serves 6 // Prep Time: 30 Minutes (not including time to make Smoky Gouda Cheese Sauce) // Active Time: 60 Minutes
I think vegan meals fall into two categories: the ones that blow people’s minds because they taste a bajillion times better than they’d expected, and the ones that blow people’s minds because they never thought one of their favorite dishes could be made using only plants and still taste just as good as, if not better than, the original. This recipe falls into the latter category. The original version tends to be overly greasy, and that oil coats your mouth, preventing you from experiencing the full flavor of every bite. This French onion soup, with its caramelized onion base, French bread, and melted cheese all over the top, has none of that. No greasiness plus maximum flavor makes for a very impressed family.
- 4 tablespoons (55 g) vegan butter (soy-free if necessary)
- 6 medium yellow onions, halved and very thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup (240 ml) vegan dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons oat flour (certified gluten-free if necessary)
- 2 quarts (2 L) low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, optional
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 vegan baguette, sliced (gluten-free if necessary)
- Smoked Gouda Cheese Sauce, “Melty” Variation (page 27; see Tip)
- Chopped fresh parsley, optional
- Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring every so often, until browned and caramelized. Add the garlic, thyme, and bay leaves and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has been absorbed. Add the oat flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour is no longer visible, about 2 minutes.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until thickened. Add the nutritional yeast (if using), salt, and pepper. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves.
- Preheat the oven broiler. Arrange six small ovenproof bowls or ramekins on a baking sheet. Pour the soup into the bowls. Place 1 or 2 baguette slices on top of the soup. Spoon the cheese sauce over the bread. Place the baking sheet with the bowls under the broiler. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until the cheese is browned and bubbly. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with parsley (if using). Serve immediately. Leftover soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
►► Heating the cheese sauce will take 5 to 7 minutes, so I suggest preparing it while the soup is simmering.
Smoked Gouda Cheese Sauce
- ½ cup (75 g) raw cashews, soaked in warm water for at least 1 hour and drained, water reserved
- 5 to 6 tablespoons reserved soaking water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon white soy miso (or chickpea miso)
Combine the cashews, ¼ cup (60 ml) of the reserved soaking water, the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and miso in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add up to 2/3 cup (160 ml) water. Add 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch. Transfer the cheese to a small pot and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3 to 4 minutes, until it’s thickened but still drips slowly off a spoon. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Recipe from But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan!: 125 Recipes to Win Everyone Over © Kristy Turner, 2016. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com
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