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French Onion Soup with Vegan Gruyere Cheese

3 large onions, sliced
1/2 cup water
3 cloves garlic, minced
7.5 cups water
1/3 cup low sodium tamari, or 3/4 t salt or salt-free seasoning
2.5 T nutritional yeast
2 T dry white wine or dry sherry (optional)
1 t dry mustard
1/4 t onion powder
1/4 t paprika
1/4 t fresh cracked black pepper
pinch of turmeric, thyme, marjoram and dill

1 cup water
2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 - 2 T tahini (the larger amount makes it cheesier)
2 T nutritional yeast
2 T quick-cooking rolled oats
4 t arrowroot (or cornstarch)
1.5 t onion powder
1/4 t salt

6 pieces French bread, sliced 1/2-inch thick and toasted
nutritional yeast

To make the soup itself, cook the first three ingredients in a
large pot over medium-low heat for 45 minutes (or until the onions
are tender). Add more water if the onions begin to stick. Stir
in the next 9 ingredients to complete the broth. Bring up to a
boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

To make the Gruyere cheese topping, place the next 8 ingredients
in a food processor or blender, and process until completely smooth.
Pour into a small saucepan and cook over a medium heat, stirring
constantly, until the sauce is smooth and thick. Cover and set
aside.

Get out six soup bowls and place a piece of french bread (toasted)
in the bottom of each. Ladle the soup in, over the bread. Top
each bowl with several spoonfuls of the Gruyere cheese mixture,
and sprinkle with a little nutritional yeast. Serve immediately.
Alternately, you can spread each of the toast slices with a thick
helping of the cheese sauce, sprinkle them with a little nutritional
yeast, and then float them atop the soup in each bowl.

Optional additions:

1 t prepared horseradish (simmered with broth for last 5 minutes)
toasted and pulverized almonds (sprinkled on top with the yeast)

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