This soup really requires homemade vegetable broth. It’s easy to make and is a good way to use up the ends of fresh vegetables or even frozen vegetables. You can buy the baguette slices already toasted in most supermarkets, saving you a bit of trouble. (By doing the cheesy toast separately, you do not need special oven proof dishes.) Our taste-tester here at Vegetarian Underground pronounces this soup fabulous!
- 8 c assorted vegetables
- 1/2 bunch parsley
- water to cover
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp savory
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp chicken-style vegetable broth mix (McKay’s is good)
- 2 tsp whole peppercorns
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 6 c sliced mixed onions (red, yellow, white, leeks, etc.)
- salt and pepper, divided use
- 1 tsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
- 1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 20 French baguette slices, toasted
- chives or parsley for garnish
- Place unpeeled, roughly cut, washed vegetables and parsley in a large stock pot. Cover with water.
- Add bay leaves, savory, salt, vegetable broth mix and peppercorns.
- Allow to come to a boil over high heat, lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes while preparing the onions.
- Strain, pressing as much broth out of the vegetables as possible.
- Add water to the strained broth (if needed) to equal 4 cups. (The strained vegetables have given up all their vitamins to the broth, so don’t feel bad if you put them on the compost pile.)
- Place the broth back in rinsed stock pot.
- Place oil and butter in a large skillet over low heat.
- When bubbly, add the onions.
- Cook slowly for about 30-45 minutes stirring often. Be careful not to burn! Onions should reduce in size, caramelize, and become sweet and browned.
- Sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add onions to stock pot and stir over medium heat.
- Add Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper (if needed) to taste.
- Simmer while preparing cheesy baguette slices.
- Line a baking sheet with tin foil.
- Place the toasted baguette slices on the baking sheet and cover each slice with shredded sharp cheddar.
- Bake about 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and begun to brown.
- Ladle the soup into bowls; add cheesy baguette slices, and snip some chives or parsley on top.
- Serve piping hot.