The College Housewife » Recipes » savory » Plant Based French Onion Soup

Plant Based French Onion Soup

One of my favorite things to do with new recipes is take a classic dish and put a new fun, twist on it! Today were taking traditional French onion soup and turning it into a plant-based recipe. I try and do a #meatlessmonday here at the house at least 1-2 a month.

This plant based take on French onion soup was actually super simple and didn’t require a ton of changes. Same great traditional taste of French onion soup, only a little lighter and healthier. Just how I like my Monday’s 😉 

A big thank you to Alpha Foods for sponsoring this post and keeping The College Housewife afloat! 


It’s currently pouring out my office window as I am writing this post for you which is so odd for California. But so necessary! I am wrapped up with a blanket around my lap and Rascal cozied on top of my feet. I’m pretty sure the last three weeks the entire state of California has been crazed by the dropping temperatures but I am loving it.

I’ll admit, it takes a bit more effort to get my gym clothes on or run errands, but I’m making do. I love that I can work from home and be cozy while still being productive, it’s one of my favorite parts about being a blogger. How do you guys feel about the rain, do you love it or hate it?! Luckily, I only have two photo shoots planned this week and only 1 of them was outside. The days have mostly been filled with lots of boring computer work and getting prepped to head to Chicago next week for the International Housewares show with The Inspired Home!



While going to the gym and being productive in the winter is challenging, I find eating healthier food when the weather is on the fritz is like… impossible.

I literally just to curl up witha big bowl of lasagna or enchiladas ever single night in the winter. You feel me?!

I feel so accomplished when I can take a comfort food classic and give it a healthy or meatless twist! To me, it’s like a fun game in the kitchen. I’m usually inspired by a dish at my favorite restaurant or something a family member has made that leaves me wanting to recreate in the kitchen. I’ve been pretty much glued to my laptop this week at one coffee shop or the next. I found myself at Panera craving some soup and their French Onion is just so delicious. I knew that plant-based French onion soup would be my next healthy kitchen challenge.

French onion soup has so much rich flavor and to my surprise I found that most of that flavor is built up from fresh herbs, red wine (my fav) and rich vegetable stock. Traditional French onion soup is made with beef broth (which you could totally use!) but I wanted the recipe to be plant-based and vegetarian friendly so I used a rich veggie stock. Whenever I am buying any kind of stock I always pick a really great brand. It’s kind of like using ‘good vanilla’ in your recipes. Stock helps bring out lots of flavors in your dishes and adds a great flavor dimension. 

The hardest part to the recipe is getting your onions to caramelize. Do yourself a favor, pour the first glass of red wine for yourself (hello antioxidants) then stir the required amount into the onions (self-love, first). Once the caramelizing is finished I promise this comfort food classic comes together really quickly! I paired off our hot bowls of soup with a few Alpha Handheld Beefy Cheddar Pot Pies and a glass of red wine. These plant-based pot pies are perfect for colder nights and dipping in soup bowls! It’s basically PB&J for comfort food. Use this handy dandy store locator to see where you can pick some up on your next weekly grocery run! 

A few of my other fav plant based recipes on the blog! 

Chopped Tostada Salad with Avocado Cilantro Dressing

Red Enchilada Mexican Casserole

Easy Homemade Healthy Ramen Bowls 

Butternut Squash Quinoa Chili

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart heart icon heart solid heart solid icon

Plant Based French Onion Soup

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 10min
  • Cook Time: 1hr
  • Total Time: 1hr 10min
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner



4 yellow onions thinly sliced

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup red wine (I used a Pinot, any dry red wine will do)

4 garlic cloves minced

2 bay leaves

3 fresh thyme sprigs

8 cups vegetable stock


  1. Peel and thinly slice all onions. In dutch oven or heavy bottom stock pot add in olive oil on medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add in thinly sliced onions to olive oil and stir well. Reduce heat to medium low. Turn onions in pan every 5-10 minutes. The heat should be high enough to break down the onions but not burn them. This process will take 30-40 minutes for the onions to be totally caramelized. About 30 minutes in add in granulated sugar, this will help speed up the browning process.
  3. Once the onions have caramelized, stir in red wine, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until most of the wine has evaporated.
  4. Add in bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and vegetable stock. Stir together and bring mixture to a slow simmer.
  5. Cook for 20-30 minutes on low to allow the flavor to develop a bit longer.



  1. Nancy Cicc
    November 20, 2019 / 9:14 am

    First time I have seen your blog. I was pulled by one of you rental kitchen makeovers. I really enjoy everything you hit it out-of the park.

  2. Madeline
    March 1, 2019 / 12:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing a plant-based recipe! I love your blog but usually have to make a ton of adjustments to recipes in order to enjoy them.

    • elizabethvanlierde7698
      March 4, 2019 / 1:50 pm

      So glad you enjoyed this one! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

We Won!
Seen In