I used to love onion soup until my lactose intolerance, and avoidance of all dairy, stopped me from enjoying it. So here is my vegan alternative. I cannot imagine why I did not come up with this recipe before now, but finally here it is: Miso Onion Soup
Ingredients: Onion, garlic, dried shiitake mushrooms, dash of tamari, and at the end, miso paste.
I used organic Vidalia onion because it is nice and sweet. One whole onion and two shiitake mushrooms per portion. I used about 6 whole cloves of garlic for two onions/two portions. These are full portions, pretty much a meal in itself.
First sauté the onion and whole garlic cloves in the pot with a pinch of sea salt and untoasted sesame oil. Other cooking oils can be used too. Add some herbs if you like. I always use herbs des provence.
When the onion is slightly see-through and getting softer, add a little water and stir for another few minutes, then add the mushrooms and the amount of water you want. I break the mushrooms into smaller pieces, but that is up to you was well. They are thick, rich, and very tasty when cooked.
The amount of water basically determines how much soup you make. It is up to you to decide on your favorite ratio of onion to water. Cook for about 25 minutes. Check the onion for softness. Here it also depends on how much you like your onion cooked, there is no right way here.
Towards the end of cooking add a dash of tamari soy-sauce for both taste and a little of that brown color that you might remember from the “real” French Onion Soup. When you are ready to serve, add a spoon full of miso-paste. I used the hearty brown rice one from Southriver miso, but you can choose a milder taste (sweet miso) or a more dense and salty taste if you prefer (barley miso). Mix in the miso when you are ready to serve the soup, don’t boil the miso.
Enjoy – this is a very nourishing winter wonderful soup.