It has been little chilly lately even in England, so soups are in style again. I'm sure the summer season for light and fresh salads will arrive soonish, but now I feel more like making soups, broths and stews.
Onion soup is an especially wonderful and hearty winter dish, a very filling soup and easy to make. I have made an English style vegetarian onion soup instead of the typical French one. I used dry English cider and smoked cheddar, which make it rather English style. Give it a go, I'm sure you'll love it!
Ingredients for the soup:
4 large onions
25 g butter
1 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp flour
1dl dry English cider (for example Wyld Wood organic cider)
500 ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp black pepper
For the top:
Applewood smoked Cheddar
Rye bread slices (1 per a soup bowl)
Peel the onions and chop them into crescent shapes. Heat the butter in a large pan. Caramelise the onions in the butter under lid at low heat until they are soft and browned. Season them with salt once little liquid has appeared. This stage takes anything from around 40 minutes to a couple of hours, so be patient and keep occasionally stirring.
Once the onions are turning brownish, mix the flour into the onions and then pour in the cider. Let it simmer for a few minutes and then also add the vegetable stock and the bay leaves. Continue simmering for around 30 minutes. Season the soup with soya sauce, black pepper and thyme and remove the bay leaves before serving.
In my mind rye bread with cheese is the best topping for this soup. Bake the rye bread slices with the cheese on the top in the oven and place the slices on the soup just before serving. Decorate with thyme leaves.
Enjoy the soup and feel the warmth!