My absolute favorite vegetarian soup is the soup the French made famous: Soupe à L’Oignon with slowly caramelized onions producing its famous sweet brothy flavor, not beef stock. Most everywhere you go now, chefs take the short cut by adding beef stock to make the soup brown. Back in the‘70’s when I was a twenty-year-old vegetarian traveling in France, Soupe à L’Oignon was the menu choice I relied upon because French chefs always took the time to properly caramelize their onions and never put in beef.Fast forward to now and watching onions brown for hours may not be possible in your lifestyle. How to get that deep brown color and a flavor that compliments the caramelized onions? Add Teeccino French Vanilla, the perfect flavor accompaniment to create a “Je ne sais quoi” response (an indescribable, special distinguishing flavor) for those lucky enough to eat your soup!
Course Entrees & Sides
Prep Time 10minutes
Cook Time 1hour45minutes
2lbsyellow onionor 4 large, thinly sliced.
3tbspflourwhite or wheat
6tea bagsTeeccino French Vanillaor 3 rounded tbsp
3tbspsherry, cognac or brandy
For the Gratinée (cheese topping)
2+cupsgrated Gruyere cheeseor swiss mixed with Parmesan cheese
1French baguettesour dough preferred
In a heavy Dutch oven or thick bottom pot, meltthe butter and oil together/
Add the onions and toss in the melted butter/ oil
Cover the pot and reduce the heat to very low and let them sauté for 15 minutes.
Uncover the pot and add salt and sugar to the onions.
Cook uncovered for 35 to 45 more minutes, stirring every few minutes until the onions turn a golden brown. Adjust the temperature of the heat to keep them slowly sautéing but not burning or cooking too fast.
In a separate pot or kettle, boil 2 quarts of water and add the Teeccino tea bags or grounds. Let steep for 5 minutes. If using Teeccino’s all purpose grind, you’ll need to strain it through a fine mesh strainer to remove it from the liquid. You can also make this in your drip coffee maker or French press pot. If they don’t hold 2 quarts, simply add more boiling water to dilute after brewing to make the required 2 quarts.
Add the flour to the sautéed onions and stir for 3 minutes to allow the onions to be completely coated by the flour.
Slowly add the 2 quarts of brewed Teeccino and the white wine.
Simmer partially covered for 30-40 minutes more.
Turn off heat and cover completely.
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Toast 6 x 1" thick slices of the baguette bread.
Grate the cheese.
Pour the soup into 6 soup bowls place on a baking sheet.
Place a slice of toast onto the top of the soup.
Cover the toast in each bowl with 1/4 - 1/3 cup grated cheese. The bigger the mound, the more delicious the soup!
Bake the soup bowls on the tray for 20 minutes. Finish for a minute or two under the preheated broiler to create a toasted, bubbly, brown crust.
Server the bowls on plates with more toasted and buttered French bread on the side. Careful of the hot bowls - use potholders to transfer them to the plates.
Server with a lovely bottle of wine or sparkling mineral water.