CARAMELIZED ONION AND PORTABELLA MUSHROOM SOUP
WITH GOAT CHEESE CROUTONS
Prep Time: 2½ Hours
Yields: 6 Servings
Eating this soup, it would be easy to imagine yourself at an outdoor bistro in Paris, yet it works just as well as a post-parade pick-me-up on Bourbon Street.
Ingredients for Soup:
1½ pounds onions, halved and thinly sliced (about 5 cups)
1½ pounds portabella mushrooms, stemmed, halved and cut into ¼ -inch strips
4 tbsps butter
4 sprigs thyme
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsps Cognac or brandy
¼ cup minced garlic
4 cups beef broth
4 cups vegetable broth
¼ cup sherry
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
In a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter over high heat. Sauté onions, thyme and sugar 10 minutes or until onions begin to soften. Reduce to low; cook 20 minutes or until onions are caramelized, stirring occasionally. Transfer onion mixture to a medium bowl and set aside. Melt remaining butter in same pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, and sauté 15 minutes or until soft. Blend in Cognac and garlic, and stir an additional 30 seconds. Stir in onion mixture, beef broth, vegetable broth and sherry. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer 45 minutes or until onions are tender. Discard thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper.
Ingredients for Croutons:
1 loaf French bread, sliced 1-inch thick
8 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, room temperature
Preheat broiler. Place cut croutons on large baking sheet. Spread goat cheese on croutons. Broil 30 seconds or until cheese begins to brown. Serve with soup.