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If you cook for more than yourself, I’m sure you’ve had suggestions or requests for special dishes from time to time. My husband recently asked me to make French Onion Soup sometime. I started thinking about a recipe and immediately got stuck at “beef broth.” Not my favorite broth flavor for sure but I adore caramelized onions, french bread and cheese – so how could I make the soup without beef broth? I started thinking about an open face sandwich layered with onions and cheese, then moved on to a panini and finally got stuck on a the idea of a French Dip with Mushroom Jus. We have almost all the ingredients that come in a good French Onion Soup – cheese, bread and onions with a special bonus of mushrooms and mushroom jus (for dipping.)
I don’t think this completely cured his French Onion Soup craving, but boy it sure came close! The mushroom jus (a/k/a mushroom stock or broth) is wonderful for dipping and it’s also vegetarian so if you’re looking for an occasional meatless meal, this one is “that something special and different” and did I mention … it’s also absolutely delicious!
Portobello Mushrooms are baked until tender, sliced and heaped on top of garlic toasted french baguettes. The mushrooms are then topped with caramelized onions and provolone cheese. The sandwich is placed under the broiler for just a minute or two or until the cheese is melted and gooey.
The mushroom jus is made by simmering garlic and mushrooms until reduced into a nice thick broth. Soy Sauce, Liquid Aminos or Tamari is then stirred into the strained broth and served with the sandwiches. The mushrooms are juicy, the onions are sweet and soft, and the cheese is dreamy creamy. What a treat!
Vegetarian French Dip with Mushroom Jus
For the mushroom jus:
- 8 ounces baby Portobello mushrooms, and the stems from the sandwich mushrooms - below
- 4 large cloves of garlic, lightly crushed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 6 cups water
For the sandwich:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- 16 ounces baby Portobello mushrooms, stems removed and reserved for the mushroom jus
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 medium yellow onions, sliced thin
- 8 slices Provolone cheese
- 1 baguette
- To prepare the mushroom jus, gently wash the mushrooms with a wet paper towel to remove any dirt or debris. Place the mushrooms and 4 large garlic cloves in a medium saucepan. Cover with 6 cups of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the temperature to medium or medium/low, enough to maintain a low boil, and cook, uncovered for about 2 hours or until the jus is reduced to about 1 1/2 cups and slightly thickened. Strain the broth removing the mushrooms and garlic and discard. Stir in the soy sauce or tamari. Keep the jus warm if using immediately or refrigerate until read to use.
- In a small bowl combine the softened butter, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic and a little salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the 16 ounces of cleaned mushrooms (stems removed and used in the jus) in a large bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the mushrooms and toss with 1 teaspoon minced garlic and 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Place the mushrooms, gill side down, on a baking sheet and cook in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- While the mushrooms are in the oven, start the onions. In a large non-stick skillet, drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat on medium/high until shimmering. Add the sliced onions and cook until they start to soften. Reduce the heat to medium/low and continue cooking the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are caramelized. Set aside.
- Preheat oven broiler to LOW
- Remove the rounded ends from the baguette. Cut into 4 pieces and slice each piece in half. Spread each slice with the butter and thyme mixture. Place in the oven and broil until lightly browned and the butter is melted.
- Remove from the oven and divide the mushrooms on the 4 bottom halves of the baguette. Top each with 1/4 of the onions and then two slices of provolone cheese. Broil for a few minutes, just until the cheese is melted.
- Season with pepper and serve with warmed mushroom jus.
- If you have leftover mushrooms, refrigerate and use in an omelette or a small pizza. If your baguette is wider than mine you may be able to fit all the mushrooms on the bread.
- Recipe inspired by Vegetarian Portobello French Dip Sandwich by Cafe Flora Cookbook
I hope you had a lovely weekend. It was beautiful, but cool, here in Virginia. We’ve been so crazy busy lately that I was thrilled to finally get back in the kitchen. I hosted a baby shower last weekend for our son and daughter-in-law. They’re expecting their first baby (a girl!) in early April. They have so many friends so I was not a bit surprised when 80 people showed up for the co-ed shower. What a great group of people. We rented a building close to home and served lots of food and played games. I have to say that was my first co-ed baby shower and it was a good one! I’ve never seen so many gifts. They are truly blessed. As the shower was winding down I was not looking forward to the clean up as it had been a long day. All of a sudden everybody started bagging the trash, breaking down the tables, putting the folding chairs away and loading everything in the cars! They even grabbed the brooms and swept the entire room before I could pack up my stuff and the food. Done in 30 minutes – how cool is that?!?
Look at all these presents! My granddaughter is a lucky girl 🙂
Our daughter Allie made a diaper cake in the shape of a motorcycle for a gift – so cute!
Thanks so much for stopping by – hope you have a wonderful week.