French Onion Soup

My mom is famous for her French onion soup. It’s a luscious soup, that really slaps you in the face with caramelized onion flavor. Other French onion soups are weak, oniony water in comparison to my mom’s. The sercret? Don’t be stingy with the onions. It is ONION soup, after all. I veganized her already vegetarian recipe by topping this soup with cashew cheese, but you could use a store bought vegan cheese here too, if you have one that you like. Bon appetit!




*Serves 4-6

For the soup:

  • 8 large sweet onions, peeled, halved, and cut into thin slices
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth
  • 6 slices of crusty bread
  • 1 cup cashew cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley , for garnish

For the cashew cheese:

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 8 hours
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon salt


To make the soup:

  1. Place a large, heavy bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then add the onions. Cook the onions for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes, and lowering the heat if they begin to burn. Taste some of the onions to make sure they’re good and caramelized. There shouldn’t be any remaining crunch to the onions, and they should be brown, soft, and sweet. When they’re ready, add a splash of vegetable broth or water to deglaze the pan. This step can be prepared ahead of time. The caramelized onions will keep in the fridge for several days, or they can be frozen and kept for several weeks.
  2. In a large stockpot set to medium heat, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir in the flour, creating a paste. You can add a splash more olive oil, if the paste is too thick to stir. Cook the flour paste for 3-5 minutes, stirring often. When the flour is just beginning to brown, add the thyme, paprika, and pepper. With a whisk, slowly pour in the vegetable broth, whisking vigorously to avoid clumps.
  3. Add the onions to the soup, and raise the heat to a bubbling simmer. Let the soup simmer for a few minutes. Then, turn the the heat down to low, and let the soup cook for at least 15-20 more minutes on the stove, so that all the flavors meld together.
  4. To serve, preheat the oven’s broiler. Ladle the soup into small bowls. Place a slice of bread over each soup, and drizzle or spoon some cashew cream on top of the bread. Place the soup bowls onto a baking sheet, and heat them under the broiler until the bread and cheese are just beginning to brown. This usually takes me about 3-4 minutes, but keep an eye on your soup, because broiler times may vary. Sprinkle a little fresh parsley over each bowl.

To make the cashew cheese:

  1. Blend the ingredients in your blender or food processor until completely smooth. This may take several minutes depending on the strength of your blender. The cheese should be smooth, and thick enough to stick to the back of a spoon.
  2. If the cream cheese seems a little thin, place it in the fridge for an hour or so, and it will begin to thicken as it chills.
If you give this recipe a try, take a photo and tag #crueltyfreefamily and/or #pleasepassthepeace. We are so excited to see your recreations!