I have a thing for melty blankets of cheese. And bread. I'm so into the cheese that most of the time, I have a rule that I don't purchase cheese unless it's for a specific recipe. And my bread rule includes only purchasing Ezekiel Sprouted Grain bread for regular consumption. You know, because it's good for me in that whole grain, complete protein, granola-crunchy way and not super processed. These days I'm hooked on making peanut butter toast. A while back it was avocado toast. End Ezekiel toast tangent.
Well my friends, rules are made to be broken! This soup has both cheese and non-Ezekiel bread and yeah, there's some actual liquid called onion soup in the bowl too! It's one of the most simple soups I make and one of the most deliciously cozy for a cold fall or winter meal. Make it the next time you're craving warmth in a bowl.
Sweating to the oldies, I mean onions...
Warm, toasty and melty...ready for dinner. Get in my belly!
Vegetarian French Onion Soup
1/4 to 1/2 stick of butter (use less if you use 1 large onion, more if you use more onions)
1 to 2 large sweet onions, sliced into rings
1 carton vegetarian broth
1 can vegetarian broth (however you can get to about 6 cups broth)
1 bay leaf
about a 1/2 tsp thyme
crusty french bread sliced on the diagonal into rounds then lightly toasted
melty white cheese of your choice, shredded (Lots of recipes use Gruyere. I used a combination of provolone and muenster this time.)
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large stock pot, melt the butter over low to medium heat. Add onion rings, sprinkle with a bit of salt. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes stirring gently. Reduce heat to very low and cook for 45-50ish minutes until the onions are tender and browned.
2. Once onions are tender and browned, turn heat back to medium and add two to three large serving spoons of cooking sherry, sprinkle in thyme. Cook and stir gently for about two minutes.
3. Add broth. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.
4. Cut your bread into rounds. Toast or broil them so they are crisp.
5. Shred chosen cheese.
5. If you used the broiler for your toast rounds, then you're one step ahead of the game. With the broiler on, assemble your oven-proof soup bowls. I butter the edge of the bowl lightly to help make cleaning up melty cheese bits less of a chore. Ladle soup into bowl, arrange bread rounds to cover the bowl's surface area (honestly this is a personal preference step. Use however many will fit into your bowls or how many (or few) you prefer. I used three because that's what filled up the bowl's surface area. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and place the entire bowl very carefully on the top rack of your oven under the broiler. Broil for 2-3 minutes, watching closely until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Carefully remove from broiler, and prepare to enjoy. As servers often say in restaurants, "be careful, this dish is very hot!" Try not to burn your fingers touching the bowl once it's on the table and try not to burn your tongue as you dig into the soup!