Vegan French Onion Soup

A lovely, simple dish best eaten on a chilly, rainy day… or just if you need a bit of comfort food!

Traditionally, this dish would be served with toasted baguette and cheese on top. I’ve chosen to keep the baguette, but eliminated the cheese for obvious reasons. If there’s a vegan cheese you love and that melts nicely, try it out!

This dish has minimal ingredients, but is absolutely lovely. It does take a while to cook, simply because the onions have to caramelize so much, but it’s well worth the wait!

Prep time: ~1.5 hours
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 white or yellow onions, thinly sliced.
  • 4 tsp oil.
  • salt.
  • pepper.
  • 1 glass white wine (if you don’t want to use alcohol, a splash of vinegar and some vegetable stock will do the job!)
  • 1 tbsp flour.
  • 4 cups/1 liter vegetable stock.
  • 1 small bunch thyme (dried is fine).
  • 1 small bunch rosemary (dried is fine).
  • 2-3 bay leaves.
  • splash of cognac (optional).
  • 1 slice baguette per person.
  • 1 clove garlic.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat a large pot on medium-low heat, add in the oil. Once the onions are hot, add them in, stir well, and season with salt and pepper. Let the onions caramelize for 20-30 minutes, stirring every so often, until they’re a lovely, rich, deep colour.

Pour in the wine and stir well to deglaze the pan, loosening up any bits of onion that are stuck to the bottom. Next, add in the flour, and cook for just a minute or two. This helps the soup be thicker and rich.

Add in the vegetable stock and herbs. Let the soup simmer for another 20 or so minutes, stirring occasionally, until it’s reduced down nicely. Pour in a little bit of cognac, it really helps take the soup to the next level!

Preheat the oven on the broiler setting. Rub your baguette pieces with a little bit of oil and garlic, then place them on a baking sheet in the oven for a few minutes, just until they’re toasted. Serve up bowls of the soup, and place the bread on top. If you want to use a vegan cheese, grate it on top of the bread, then place the bowls in the oven just until the cheese begins to melt and bubble.

Serve piping hot, and enjoy!

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Sweet Potato, Coconut, & Lime Soup

A soup I’ve had (and made) many a time at my work! It’s super creamy, a little bit sweet, and has a nice tang from the limes. Very easy to make, too! Served with a little sprig of coriander (if you like coriander, that is), it’s lovely and fresh.

Serves: 6-8
Prep time: ~45 minutes
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced.
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced.
  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and diced.
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil.
  • salt.
  • pepper.
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped.
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped.
  • 2 cans coconut milk.
  • 4 cups vegetable stock.
  • zest and juice of 2 limes (add more if you want it super limey!).
  • 1 small bunch coriander (also called cilantro), finely chopped,plus more for garnish (optional).

Cooking Instructions:

In a large pot over medium heat, add the coconut oil, and once it’s hot, the onion, garlic, and ginger. Place the lid on and fry, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until everything becomes soft and fragrant.

Next, add in the sweet potatoes and the carrots, and cook them for a few minutes with the lid on, just until they start to soften a little bit. Season well with salt and pepper, then add in the coconut milk and the vegetable stock. Bring the whole thing up to a boil, then reduce the heat slightly and allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes.

Once the vegetables are soft enough that you can break them up with a fork, puree the soup until smooth. Add in the lime juice, zest, and coriander, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a leaf or two just before serving, and enjoy!

 

 

Pea and Tarragon Soup

A lovely, refreshing soup that’s just as good served cold as it is hot. Don’t be scared off by the coconut milk – it doesn’t add much coconut flavour, just a lovely creaminess!

Prep time: ~45 minutes
Serves 6-8.
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, diced.
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed/minced.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 3 stalks celery, diced.
  • 500 g frozen peas (let defrost before adding to the soup).
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon (save a bit of the zest for garnish).
  • 2 cans coconut milk.
  • 4 cupsĀ vegetable stock/water.
  • 1 large bunch tarragon, finely chopped (save a few leaves for garnish).
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat a large pot over medium heat with the olive oil in the bottom. Once the oil is nice and hot, add in the onion and garlic.

Fry them off until soft and fragrant, then add the celery. Cook until the celery has softened and the onions and garlic have begun to caramelize slightly.

Next, add in all of the peas, the lemon juice and zest, the coconut milk, and vegetable stock.

Bring the whole thing up to a boil, then toss in the tarragon. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.

Puree the soup, strain if desired, and serve with a little extra lemon zest and tarragon as a garnish.

Quick and Easy Risotto

Risotto is incredible. It’s a super creamy, delicious rice dish that’s easy to customize. It has a reputation for being tricky to cook, but as long as you keep an eye on it and keep stirring it, you shouldn’t have any trouble! My dad taught me to make risotto when I was 14, and I’ve since adjusted his recipe to make it vegan.

I’ve included two different variations in this recipe, since they’re both very yummy, but very different! You can add all sorts of things to risotto to make it interesting. Celery, peas, mushrooms, carrots… the list goes on and on. If you don’t drink alcohol, go ahead and add an extra cup of stock and a splash of vinegar to imitate the effect the wine has on the dish.

Prep time: ~30 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup arborio rice.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 1 small onion, finely diced.
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced.
  • ~3 cups vegetable stock (may need more or less, depends on how the rice behaves).
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

For the white wine and vegetable risotto:

  • 1 cup white wine.
  • 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced into quarter-moons.
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced.

For the red wine and mushroom risotto:

  • 1 cup red wine.
  • 1 small handful dried mushrooms (porcini are the best, but a mixed variety is nice too).
  • drizzle of truffle oil to garnish (optional!).

Cooking Instructions:

Both of these risottos start out the same way: place a large saucepan on medium heat, and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the arborio rice and fry for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Next, add the onions and garlic and fry for another two minutes, stirring often to prevent everything from sticking. Add the wine and mix it into the rice well. Cook until the wine is absorbed into the rice, stirring often to make sure no rice gets stuck to the bottom of the pot.

If you’re making the vegetable risotto, now’s the time to add the bell pepper.

Add the vegetable stock in half-cup increments, waiting each time for the stock to get absorbed. Keep on stirring.

Once two cups of stock has been absorbed properly, it’s time to add the zucchini, if you’re making the vegetable risotto, or the mushrooms, if you’re making the mushroom risotto.

Keep adding the stock and stirring it until the rice is plump and tender. How much stock you’ll need to use with depend on your rice. Some brands need a lot of liquid before they’re properly cooked.

Season with salt and pepper, and serve piping hot! If you made the mushroom risotto, drizzle a little bit of truffle oil (or olive oil) over the top to be fancy.