I have been accommodating my pseudo-husband’s vegetarian lifestyle for the better part of 13 years. It hasn’t always been a pleasure, but I do it because it is the right thing to do. Just like he doesn’t blink an eye or give me grief if I want to devour a steak.
Many a risotto has been adjusted. I have substituted my fair share of fish (he became a pescetarian 5 years ago) for chicken in a recipe, without complaint. Family and friends always shift plans to include a ‘special’ dish just for him. My mother spends time doting on him like he is starving and undernourished.
But some things have gotta give.
Perfection should not be messed with. There are some recipes that just won’t carry over well if deviated from.
And French Onion Soup happens to be one of them.
Last week, I found the holy grail of French Onion Soup recipes. And being the dutiful, accommodating psuedo-wife that I am, my brain immediately went to work – converting the recipe to something HE could enjoy as well. After all, who wants to go to the trouble of making an entire batch of French Onion Soup just to eat it alone?
And as I slaved over the stove, gaining layer after layer of flavor – caramelizing, stirring, deglazing the pot 2, 5, 50 times- as soon as I added the vegetable stock, I just knew it was all over.
That soup would never live up to what it was meant to be. What it should be. And all because that veggie stock is just too weak. It doesn’t have the deep, hearty flavor that French Onion Soup begs for.
So, next time I’m not budging. It is my right after all, as a carnivore. I don’t suggest you add beef broth to your tofu cubes, do I? No, of course not. So, don’t expect me to vegetarianize my French Onion Soup.
And while I realize that I did this completely to myself because I was being thoughtful, next time thoughtful takes a back seat to authentic and delicious! In fact, thoughtful won’t even make it in the car next time we are driving to the land of French Onion Soupness.
So, while we certainly ate the soup and it was better than I expected, it just wasn’t up to my standards of a proper French Onion Soup.
But I think it’s fair to say Chris enjoyed it immensely. Probably because he knew it would be his one and only opportunity. At least in this house.
The recipe I used can be found at Cookography. For the best flavor, I prepared the soup and followed the recommendation of refrigerating for a day or two before reheating and serving. It really did impact the flavor.
What are you favorite recipes that will remain unaltered for vegetarians?