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Vegan French Onion Soup with Gluten-Free Garlic and Herb Dumpling

Serves 4

French onion soup is a hearty dish traditionally made with beef or veal stock and is good enough for both a robust starter or a filling lunch served with bread. To replicate the meaty flavour of real stock, we use Marmite and a little vegetable bouillon.


For the dumplings:

100g gluten-free self-raising flour

50g Vegan baking fat (we use Trex)

1 small garlic clove, crushed

1/2 small shallot minced

1 small handful of fresh herbs, finely chopped (dried herbs are not recommended as they are too pungent, go with thyme, parsley and or rosemary)

1tsp salt


For the soup:

3 large Spanish (white) onions

1-litre water

1 tbsp Yeast extract (Marmite or similar)

1/2 Vegetable stock bouillon cube

1 small clove of garlic

2 Bay leaves

2 Cloves


Step 1

Start by making the dumplings: Place the flour, salt, herbs, garlic and shallot into a food processor and blend for a few seconds to ensure that they are thoroughly mixed. Slowly add the softened fat to the machine whilst it is running, again, until thoroughly mixed. A soft crumb should have formed- this can be removed from the machine and mixed by hand until a crumbly dough is achieved.

Step 2

Gently form the dough into 2cm balls and set aside in the fridge until the soup is ready.

Step 3

To make the soup, peel and thinly slice the onions and fry hard in oil on high heat in a large saucepan. Frequently stir the onions to prevent them from catching but don’t prevent a little caramelisation on the bottom of the pan- this adds flavour. Ideally, they should be a medium-dark brown in colour before they begin to soften. Adjust the temperature of the pan to prevent any burning but continue to sweat the onions until they have cooked well. Add the garlic, bay leaves and cloves at this point and ensure that the garlic gets sweated thoroughly. Make note of exactly the number of bay leaves and cloves you have added. You will need to fish them out later!

Step 4

Add the water, Marmite and vegetable bullion and turn the heat to a simmer. Cook the mixture for around 20 minutes and then taste for seasoning. Add salt and white pepper to taste, taking care not to overdo it.

Step 5

Carefully place the dumplings into the stock and top the soup with a cartouche (a parchment lid that will float on the surface of the liquid and help keep the dumplings submerged). Simmer the dumplings for about half an hour, flipping them halfway, keeping an eye to ensure they don’t begin to boil as they may break up.

Step 6

When ready to serve, remove everything from the heat and carefully transfer the dumplings to a plate whilst you ladle out the soup, adding them to the bowls at the very last.

Step 7

Enjoy with a glass of Les Sixes 2014.

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