Vegan French Onion Soup

October 6, 2016

This vegan French onion soup tastes just like the conventional version. The secret is an incredible blend of broth and other ingredients. Don’t miss it.

When I serve this vegan French onion soup to people and tell them it’s vegan, they call me a dirty liar. Well, perhaps not quite in those words, but they are astounded.

I have served this vegan French onion soup to many of my omnivore friends who pride themselves on being French-onion-soup aficionados and they are always amazed.

The secret? Massel beef-flavored broth. This gluten-free, vegan broth tastes like beef broth, but it’s completely plant-based. Australians have known about this sensational secret for over 30 years. The Massel products are so popular that over 70% of Aussies have the product in their homes. This family-owned Aussie company is practically a household name.

I love this broth so much that I used to bring it back to L.A in my suitcase because I couldn’t find a broth in America that even came close to matching the awesome flavor. Now, Massel is available in U.S stores and online from amazon, so now I have more room in my luggage for other things.

Massel broth comes as concentrated liquidbouillon cubestravel 7’s, and bouillon powder in vegetable, chicken, and beef flavors. All varieties are gluten-free, vegan (dairy-free and egg-free), preservative free, kosher, no trans fats, GMO-free, no added MSG, low carb, and salt reduced. Use the store locator to find out where you can get Massel in your local area.

French onion soup has to be rich and super flavorful to satisfy me. So, as fabulous as the beef-flavored broth is, I boost the flavor of the base with some tamari, balsamic vinegar, thyme, black pepper, and, of course, red wine. Caramelizing the onions is a commitment, but invest the time to reach for the sublime, and I promise you won’t be sorry.

The vegan French onion soup is pretty epic on its own. But, don’t miss making the cheezy bread, which sends this dish into spectacular territory. I was inspired by my french toast recipe to create a savory cheezy fried bread that would complement the deep rich flavor of the broth.

Massel to the rescue again! I made a creamy sauce to dip the bread into by blending the Massel chicken-flavored broth with raw cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and a touch of smoked paprika.

Normally I’m not a fan of regular thin gluten-free sandwich bread. But, just like the french toast, the batter is so fabulous that the bread gets light, fluffy, and full of flavor. You would never know it’s gluten-free. You do need to eat the bread soon after it’s made, because it does dry up like most other gluten-free products.

I am excited to hear what you think of this French onion soup!

Disclaimer: I am an ambassador for Massel. But, my opinions are my own.


Vegan French Onion Soup

This vegan French onion soup tastes just like the conventional version. The secret is an incredible blend of broth and other ingredients. Don't miss it.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 6 to 8
Author Tess Masters



  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds yellow onions, cut into 1/4-inch slices (4 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup (240ml) red wine
  • 8 cups (2l) Massel beef-flavored vegan broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 3 tablespoons wheat-free tamari
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve

cheezy bread: (sauce makes 1 3/4 cups (440g))


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the grapeseed oil, onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook the onions for about 30 minutes until the onions turn golden brown, and caramelize. Add the wine to deglaze the pan, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes until the wine has evaporated.
  2. Add the Massel beef-flavored broth, tamari, balsamic vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes to allow the onions to melt into the broth and the flavors to mesh. Season with the remaining 1/4 pepper and salt to taste.
  3. To make the cheezy bread, set your oven on very low to the warm setting.
  4. Pour the Massel vegetable broth, drained cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, and paprika into your blender, and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth and creamy.
  5. Pour the batter into a large shallow baking dish. In batches, place slices of bread into the baking dish on one side and soak for 8 to 10 seconds until coated evenly. Turn over for another 8 to 10 seconds until coated evenly.
  6. Into a small skillet (that fits two slices) or on a large griddle that holds all of the slices over medium heat, pour 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil per two slices of coated bread and fry for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy on the edges. The amount of time and oil required will depend on your skillet and stove. Resist the urge to use less oil, or the bread won’t get crispy. Transfer this first batch of bread to the oven to keep warm, and repeat the process, frying the remaining slices of bread, if doing so in batches. Keep the bread whole to serve on the side, or cut each slice into quarters or in tiny crouton-sized squares to place on top of the bowl.
  7. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with cheeze bread, or serve family style at the table. 

Recipe Notes

Find more recipes using Massel broth
Photo by Trent Lanz; styling by Alicia Buszczak


Comments 3

  1. Do you use the consentrated liquid stock or the cubes? I’d love to try this but don’t know which kind to order! I’ve been using Better than Boullion no chicken but this sounds lovely!
    Thank you!! 🙂

    1. I’ve tried this with the liquid, the cubes, and the powder. I think you get the best flavor with using the cubes (1 cube diluted into 2 cups water) or by diluting the concentrated liquid in water to taste. Let me know how you go. This is so delicious.

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