Vegetarian French Onion Soup

Is there anything better on a cold, blustery day than soup? It’s icky here in Philly today, and yes, I do believe icky is the correct meteorologic term for what’s happening outside my window.

I love French onion soup with all it’s gooey, cheesy goodness, but most recipes call for the use of beef broth. As a hard-core vegetarian, that often eats vegan, beef broth is a big fat NO! But still I hear that melted cheesiness calling my name, so I share with you my recipe for vegetarian French onion soup; no beef broth here! I rely on the power of the all-mighty mushroom to give my French onion soup a flavorful full-bodied flavor.


Vegetarian French Onion Soup

3/4 stick unsalted butter

2 large onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup chopped scallions

1 tsp dried thyme

1 bay leaf

12 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped

4 cups water

4 slices sourdough bread

1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese

salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, scallions, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook until onion are soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Stir in mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms have released their moisture, about 15 minutes. Stir in 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf and add additional salt and pepper to taste (if needed).

2. Preheat broiler and position rack about 6 inches from heat. Divide soup among 4 ovenproof bowls. Top each with a slice of bread and sprinkle with the Gruyere. Broil until cheese is melted, about 2 – 3 minutes. Enjoy!

There you have it! Easy peasy and delicious!

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Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – Veg in, don’t veg out!



The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

December is almost upon us, which means, most people start thinking about celebrating the holidays. Not to sound like a big old Scrooge, but December is also the beginning of peak flu season which runs from December to March.
How do you know if it’s a cold or the flu?
• Aches and pains are sometimes slight
• Mild to moderate chest discomfort or pain and a cough are present
• Chills may occur
• Fatigue is sometimes there and is often mild
• Fever is unlikely
• Headache is unlikely
• Sneezing, sore throat and stuffy nose are common
• Aches and pains are often severe
• Chest discomfort and cough are common and may become severe
• Chills are common
• Fatigue is common and can be moderate to severe
• Fever and headache are both common
• Sneezing, sore throat, and stuffy nose can occur sometimes
Prevent illness by:
• Washing hands often
• Keeping your home clean and sanitized
• Avoiding contact with anyone who has a cold or the flu
• Avoiding crowds, when possible, during the peak flu season
• Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated
• Keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth
• Getting enough sleep, exercise, and nutritious foods, daily
• Keeping stress under control
Prevent spreading germs by:
• Avoiding close contact with others when you are sick. There are no heroes when it comes to cold and flu. If you’re stick, STAY HOME!
• Use tissues or the inside of your elbow to cover your coughs and sneezes
• Wash your hands often, especially after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
While I always advocate for good self-care, it’s especially important when you’re sick.
• Drink plenty of fluids
• Get extra rest and sleep
• Soothe sore throats by gargling with warm salt water and drinking warm water or tea with honey and lemon
• Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and excess caffeine
Seek medical advice if:
• You have difficulty breathing
• You feel faint
• Your sore throat is severe
• You have a cough that produces a lot of phlegm (especially if it is green or yellow)
• Your fever is 102 or higher with a cold, or 104 or higher with the flu
• Your symptoms last for more than 7 days
• You have a fever with shaking chills
• You have sharp chest pain when you breathe deeply or cough
• You suffer from a condition that puts you at risk for complications from the flu

Remember, it’s always important to take care of yourself and listen to your body, but it’s especially important when cold and flu season is upon us.

As always, take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out. Karen
It’s almost the New Year! If you want to set yourself up to have your best year yet, check out my new book, Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes That Add up to Big Results! It’s available now