A recipe for Vegetarian French Onion Soup inspired by our visit to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom! A light vegetarian broth is filled with caramelized onions, then topped with baguette slices and Gruyère cheese.
In October 2013, we took Evan to Orlando for the first time! Check out the rest of my posts on our trip and Food and Wine Festival here:
- Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée and Downtown Disney
- Teriyaki Chicken Hand Rolls and Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
- Kasseri Saganaki (Griddled Greek Cheese with Pistachios and Honey) and Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
- Zapiekanka (Polish Mushroom and Cheese Bread) and Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
- Frozen S’mores and Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
- Shrimp Tacos (Tacos de Camarones) and Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
- Lego Crayons and Legoland Florida
Magic Kingdom was Evan’s favorite park. There were plenty of rides and activities for his age group.
He was just an inch above the height requirement for Tomorrowland Speedway and got to steer in the cart while Chad controlled the gas. He still couldn’t see over the steering wheel, so it was quite a bumpy ride.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant has improved with the addition of a second carousel and an indoor playground to enjoy during the wait in line. Evan loved the playground so much, he was hesitant to leave to go on the actual ride.
His favorite attraction was Tom Sawyer’s Island. After a (three hour!) nap in the stroller, Evan was ready to walk around. He could have spent all day climbing the stairs and exploring the cave, windmill, and other places on the island. The shade was also nice on such a hot day.
Beauty and the Beast was my favorite Disney movie growing up and I was excited to see all the new additions to the new Fantasyland.
Be Our Guest
We did get to eat lunch at the new Be Our Guest restaurant. I couldn’t use the fastpass + this trip so we had a bit of a wait in line, about 40 minutes.
Lunch is counter-service, while dinner is table service. Evan was starting to get overtired and the wait didn’t help, but I am so glad I got a chance to look inside.
The food was decent, but the atmosphere was absolutely incredible. Everything was so intricately detailed, down to the tiled floors and roses carved into the chairs. I was completely mesmerized. First, the line outside takes you across a bridge with a view of the Beast’s castle in the distance.
Once entering the restaurant, we walked through a hallway with talking suits of armor before entering the area with the kiosks. We ordered our food, then chose a table from one of the three dining areas.
We sat in the Ballroom, an amazingly decorated large area with painted ceiling and chandeliers. Look out the windows and you can see snow falling (just ignore the fact that it is 80˚F/27˚C outside). The other two dining areas are a bit smaller.
The West Wing is dimly lit with slashed curtains covering the window and even has the rose protected by glass. The Rose Gallery is the brightest of the rooms. The Beast and Belle twirl in the center and the walls are covered with photos of characters from the movie.
I ordered the French Onion Soup and The Master’s Cupcake. Chad had the Braised Pork and we ordered the Whole Grain Macaroni for Evan.
The French Onion Soup uses a vegetable broth as a base instead of the normal beef broth, so it was a bit lighter than traditional French Onion Soup. It had the melted, bubbly layer of Gruyere cheese on top to help with the lighter flavor.
The cupcake was a chocolate sponge cake, so nice and light. The Grey Stuff, whipped cookies and cream panna cotta, started in the center and piled about 1 1/2 inches (4 centimeters) above the cake. It was delicious and someday I plan on trying to make it at home.
The Braised Pork was cooked 8 hours and served over mashed potatoes with green beans, mushrooms, carrots, onions, and bacon. Evan actually ended up being more interested in the pork than the macaroni.
This restaurant is immensely popular, so definitely use the fastpass + system for lunch, if possible, to avoid the long wait we had and book the dinner reservation immediately when it becomes available. We rushed through our lunch to let Evan take a nap, but I hope to visit again someday to look at the detailing inside a bit closer.
Evan only sleeps in the stroller if it is constantly moving, so we walked all over Magic Kingdom (a couple of times) after lunch to explore the shops in Main Street and the areas of the park we have rushed through in previous visits.
Since it was mid-October, the park was decorated for Halloween. Even the treats in the bakery reflected the holiday with plenty of fun options.
Winnie the Pooh
Evan woke up just in time to visit Winnie the Pooh and Rabbit. He loved them immediately, just like Mickey, and saw them as big stuffed animals to cuddle.
For a quick dinner, we stopped by Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square. They are open from breakfast through dinner, but their savory waffle sandwiches are only available from 11 to 5.
I got the Sweet and Spicy Chicken and Chad ordered the Ham, Prosciutto, and Cheese. We sat a picnic table next to the restaurant and had a great view of the castle while we ate.
Evan ate a little of both of ours, but preferred Chad’s sandwich since mine was a bit spicy. The portions were on the large side and we were only able to finish about 3/4ths of the sandwiches.
Vegetarian French Onion Soup
I was inspired by Be Our Guest in Fantasyland to make my own Vegetarian French Onion Soup at home! A light vegetarian broth base is filled with caramelized onions, then topped with baguette slices and Gruyère cheese.
The broth is lighter than the traditional beef broth used in French Onion Soup, so make sure to use a good quality one to maximize the flavor. I went with this recipe from My Humble Kitchen and added pieces of mushrooms, spinach, parsley, carrots, and onions to use up a few extra vegetables I had on hand.
To caramelize the onion slices, cook over low to medium low heat until a deep golden color and softened. Don’t rush the process by turning the heat up. It takes time for the flavor to develop, around 30-40 minutes.
I placed slices of Gruyere cheese over the bread and barely overlapped the bowl so it completely covered the soup when broiled.
Looking for more recipes with caramelized onions?
- Guinness Onion Soup
- Beer Bratwurst with Caramelized Onions
- Coca de Cebolla y Sobrasada (Onion and Sobrasada Flatbread)
Vegetarian French Onion Soup Recipe
Adapted from Because I Like Chocolate
Vegetarian French Onion Soup
- 3 large yellow onions
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 cup (240 milliliters) white wine
- 6 cups (1.5 liters) vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 baguette
- 4-5 thick slices Gruyere cheese
- Peel the onions, slice them in half, then thinly slice into half moons.
- In a large pot, drizzle olive oil and butter over medium-low heat.
- Once the butter is melted, add the onions, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and deeply golden, around 30-40 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed between medium low and low to keep the onions from burning before they get a chance to caramelize.
- Stir in the garlic and cook just until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Increase heat to medium-high. Pour in the wine and stir, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Once the wine has reduced by half, pour in the vegetable broth followed by the bay leaf and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to blend. Remove the bay leaf and thyme stems.
- While the soup is cooking, slice the baguette into 1/2 inch (1.25 centimeter) thick slices and toast until golden.
- Divide the soup among broiler safe bowls. Top each with a toasted slice of baguette. Cover with large slices of Gruyere cheese. Place bowls on rimmed baking sheet and broil until the Gruyere is melted and starting to brown.
- Serve immediately with the remaining slices of baguette for dipping.