Vidalia Onion Soup with Blistered Vermont Cheddar Cheese with Parsley Pesto

April 23, 2014
Thanksgiving, Winter, Fall, Lunch, Vegetables

Serves: 8

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 lbs Vidalia onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ cup brandy
½ cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons flour
6 cups homemade chicken stock or low sodium canned chicken broth
6 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 thin slices French baguette, lightly toasted
1 lb aged cheddar cheese, grated

1. Heat the butter and oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until melted. Add the onions and cook until caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 30-40 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the brandy and sherry and cook until reduced. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the stock and the thyme and cook until the soup is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.

2. Preheat the broiler.

3. Place the crocks on a baking sheet (4 at a time) and fill each crock ¾ of the way with the soup. Place a slice of baguette over the soup and divide the cheese on top. Place the soup under the broiler and broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Remove from the broiler and top each with a dollop of parsley pesto.

Parsley Pesto
2 cups flat leaf parsley leaves
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 tablespoons pine nuts
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Combine parsley, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the oil through the feed tube until combined.

2. Add the cheese and season with salt and pepper, pulse a few times just to incorporate. Scrape into a bowl. The pesto will keep for 2 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.