Onion Soup with Cider and Cheddar Croutons
This recipe adds British and American touches of cheddar cheese and apples to this French classic.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 6 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 1 large fresh bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon ground thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 2 small Gala or Golden Delicious apples, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon balsamic drizzle (optional)
- 2 cups cloudy apple cider
- 1 quart beef stock
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 baguette, cut into 12 slices about 1 1/2-inches thick
- 1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp white cheddar
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
- Pre-heat the oven to 325˚F.
- Heat a soup pot over medium to medium-high heat. Melt the butter and add the onions, bay leaf, ground thyme, salt and pepper. Cook the onions until very soft and light caramel in color, 20 minutes.
- Add the apples, stir to combine and cook for 10 minutes more. Stir in the balsamic drizzle, if using, then add the cider and stock. Bring to a boil and let reduce, about 10 minutes.
- To make the croutons, in a small saucepot, heat the EVOO with the hot sauce and the crushed garlic clove. Let the EVOO infuse for a couple of minutes, then brush the bread slices. Arrange the slices on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet and bake until crisp, 5-6 minutes. Top the toast with mounds of cheese and a sprinkle of fresh thyme. Bake 2 minutes more to melt the cheese.
- Serve the soup in bowls topped with three croutons each.