Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Red Onion Soup with Goats' Cheese Toasts

I have come to the conclusion that over the next few weeks this may become a bit of a foodie blog. Having this time off, I have come to accept that I cannot keep going out and spending money just to keep myself occupied (for starters, there is no money to spend!) and so therefore my love of cooking is going to take centre stage. Normally when I cook to entertain myself, I bake. If I was to spend every day of the next 3 weeks baking, I, or various members of my friends and family would get very fat. Although I don't think either my Dad or my boyfriend would complain too convincingly that they didn't want any more of the baked goodness. I already have a fairly dominant role in the family kitchen and love finding new recipes to try out on my family. They are very easy going with food, the only stipulation at the moment being that, during the week, the food is healthy and wholesome. So I am going to be sharing with you my selection of healthy, yet fulfilling meals. Of course life would be dull if we only ate 'good' stuff, so I'll also be throwing in a little bit of tempting naughtiness too.

With the days of summer rapidly feeling like a distant memory and the excitement and expectation of autumn becoming more apparent it has become 'soup' season in my kitchen. I love having the time to be able to put together a wholesome, warming soup from scratch. Last week I tried my hand at 'Simple Tomato and Roasted Garlic' and 'Parsnip with Apple and Calvados', both of which I was very pleased with, particularly the last one. It conjured up images of chilly sunny days, sat reading a book with a fire and a blanket or planning bonfire night parties and other winter time festivities.

This week I wanted to try out the Red Onion Soup with Goats' Cheese Toasts by the Covent Garden Food Co. The original recipe serves 6 but I halved it which made just enough to feed Mum and me for lunch today and tomorrow.

Here is the original recipe for 6:

1.3kg red onions, finely sliced
4 tablespoons of olive oil
25g butter
3 gloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon of thyme, freshly chopped (we had none so I used dried, worked fine)
100ml marsala or port (I went for marsala)
1.2l beef stock (use vegetable if you are a veggie)
300g goats cheese
half a french stick cut into round slices


Heat the oil and butter in a wide, heavy based pan (I used a normal saucepan as you can see in the pictures), fry the onions on a medium heat for 25-30 minutes, stir frequently so that the onions do not stick or catch on the bottom.

Add the garlic and thyme, then fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the marsala (or port) and continue to cook until the liquid has reduced my half. This happened really quite quickly.
Add the stock, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

While the soup is cooking you can make the toasts. I used a part baked mini french roll for this. Slice the bread into circular pieces and toast under the grill until they become slightly golden. Put a slice of goats cheese, ideally the same size as your bread on top. You can crumble the coats cheese if you prefer. Place under the grill for a few minutes until the cheese has melted and started to colour. 

Serve in bowls with a couple of toasts on top.

This soup was delicious and very filling considering that I didn't have all that big a portion. I was also pleasantly surprised by the goats cheese toasts. Originally, I was not going to make them as I've never really liked goats cheese, but I was feeling adventurous and went for it. They were great! I may have to brave other recipes with goats cheese now as I have always avoided them in the past. 

This soup was ridiculously easy to make, however it does take a while, mainly due to the fact that the onions need to cook for so long and you need to stir it regularly. It was worth the effort though and if you have the time I would recommend you give it a go. 

Happy cooking

1 comment:

  1. wow! Might have to try this one out, sounds delicious!