As some of you may remember, my family tries to eat vegetarian meals about three to four nights a week. Since I believe that food should always be a fun experience, I am constantly looking for fun, new recipes to serve that are vegetarian. While I own lots of vegetarian cookbooks, the biggest issue I have is that most of these cookbooks rely on processed soy products that…well…don’t look or taste appetizing. To me, vegetarian dishes should contain real fruits and vegetables. I have no problem with tofu every so often, but it’s one of those things I am in the mood for every once in a blue moon. While I don’t think this is a bad thing, it does leave me constantly changing or creating my own recipes. Recently, I went on a mission to make a vegetarian friendly French onion soup!
I know what you are thinking – Susan, French onion soup is filled with vegetables and is meatless! While some places may claim French onion soup is vegetarian friendly – it’s not! Nearly every recipe for French onion soup on the planet has beef broth and in some rare occasions, chicken broth. When I first made my attempt to make a vegetarian friendly French onion soup – I will be honest with you, I failed horribly. It was flavorless and just plain disgusting. It wasn’t until I started playing around with three fall recipes with a fall twist that I found my recipe – Apple Cider French Onion Soup!
When I first saw this recipe in one of my Crockpot books, I thought they had to be crazy. I made it the first time following the recipe and while it was okay – wasn’t really anything to write home about. It wasn’t until months later after I had modified the recipe heavily that I came up with this amazing recipe! The soup itself is slightly salty, but flavorful with a slight aftertaste of apples to help clear the palate.
Oddly enough, this is one of the few recipes I have made where vegetable broth and beef broth are interchangeable. If you would prefer to try this Apple Cider French Onion Soup recipe as a traditional soup, just substitute beef broth for the vegetable concentrate. For those of you who love a good vegetarian soup, I think you are absolutely going to love this recipe! If you try it, make sure to tell me what you think! Since I am still playing with the recipe, I am always open to suggestions!
- 4 Tablespoons Salted Butter Melted or Cubed
- 5 Large Yellow Onions Chopped
- 3 Medium Granny Smith Apples Cubed (leave skin on)
- 4 Cups Water
- 4 Teaspoons Vegetable Broth Concentrate liquid concentrate (in jar)
- 2 Cups Apple Cider
- ¼ Cup Brandy optional
- Bread prefer wheat or whole multi-grain
- Melted or Spread Butter
- Gouda Cheese shredded
- place the melted or cubed butter in your Crockpot and move it around evenly in the pan.
- Place your apples and onions in the Crockpot. Cook on LOW in the Crockpot for 10 hours.
- Place water, vegetable concentrate, brand, and apple cider in the Crockpot. Mix well. Set the Crockpot to HIGH and cook for another hour.
- Turn your oven to broil. Butter your preferred bread on both sides and place on a cookie sheet. Place the shredded Gouda cheese on top. Cook on broil until brown - about two to three minutes, depending on your oven.
- Serve soup hot with bread on top of the soup.