French Onion Wild Mushroom Soup

My dad loved french onion soup. When I was in high school, I figured out how to make a meatless version for him. Needless to say, he was all about that soup. Every time I make one of his favorite recipes, I can’t help but think of him.

Food is so tied to family. And memory. It’s hard to parse that out sometimes. And I guess that’s kind of nice too. Because when I eat the recipes my dad loved, I can hear his voice. And in between bites, he’s making a big deal out of it. Maybe you have some recipes like that too?

This is based on the vegan french onion soup recipe I came up with in high school, but it’s taken up a notch with some wild mushrooms. Over the years, I have used different dried wild mushroom blends to make this soup. Basically, I buy the blend I can find in my chain grocery store. Some dried wild mushroom blends have had chanterelles, lobster, porcini, morels, black trumpet. Others have had porcini, oyster, shiitake, and black trumpet. None of the blends have ever tasted bad. In fact, I don’t think we’ve ever had leftovers of this soup. It has a way of disappearing!

Just don’t forget to always rinse off your dried wild mushrooms before soaking them in boiling water. Sometimes, they have sand and grit stuck in the nooks and crannies. And nothing is worse than ruining an entire pot of soup, because it’s loaded with gritty sand that could have easily been rinsed off. I have done it. More than once. So, learn from me and rinse those babies super well before adding them to the boiling water 🙂

French Onion Wild Mushroom Soup

1 ounce mixed dried wild mushrooms, sand/grit rinsed out before soaking (see note above)

8 cups sweet onions, very thinly sliced

3 Tbsp vegan butter

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup dry white wine

¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce

1 tsp thyme

2 bay leaves

Black pepper, to taste

1½ cup broth (vegetable, fake beef, fake chicken, etc)


1. Pour 2 cups boiling water over the dried wild mushrooms.  Cover with a plate or lid, and set aside, while you work on the rest of the soup.

2. Melt vegan butter in a large heavy pot or dutch oven.  Add onions and a dash of salt, and cook over HIGH stirring constantly for ~5 minutes, or until they are soft and somewhat translucent.

3. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Stirring around every now and then, sauté until the onions are golden (~15 minutes). Add garlic, thyme and bay leaves, and sauté 2 more minutes.

4. Add flour to onions.  Stir until everything is coated. Saute for 1 minute, and then, stir in wine. Scrape the flour off the bottom, and stir around for about a minute. You should have a paste form. Then, stir in the soy sauce, and stir around for another minute over medium-low heat.

5. Add the wild mushrooms and the water they were soaking in into the pot.  Then, add the broth.  Stir until well combined. Cover and simmer over low for 30 minutes.  Taste, and adjust seasonings (more soy sauce? salt?). Serve with a hearty loaf of bread.

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