|Title:||Caramelized Balsamic-Red Onion Soup with Cheese Topped Croutons|
|Category:||Soups & Salads - Clean (Only natural/organic ingredients), Vegetarian|
1/4 c olive oil
1 T butter - optional
6 large red onions - thinly sliced
2 t sea salt
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
2 T soy sauce
2 T prepared mustard
6 c water
1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
Six 1/2-inch-thick slices French bread baguette - cut on the diagonal
3/4 c grated Swiss cheese - Gruyere or other high-end brand
|Directions:||Place a soup pot or a Dutch oven over medium heat. After about a minute, add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Toss in the butter, if desired, and swirl until it melts into the oil. Stir in the onions and salt, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally (and more often as the onions darken), for about 30 minutes, or until the onions become deep golden brown and very soft.
Add the vinegar, soy sauce, and mustard, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes longer. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat all the way down to the lowest possible setting, partially cover, and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Season with black pepper, then ladle the soup into bowls. Top each steaming bowlful with a crouton, and serve right away.
To make the Cheese-Topped Croutons, Preheat the oven or a toaster oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with foil. Arrange the bread slices on the prepared tray. Place the tray in the center of the oven and bake for about 5 minutes, or until the bread is lightly toasted. (Keep an eye on it, so it doesn't burn.)
Remove the tray from the oven, and change the setting to "broil". Divide the grated cheese evenly among the tops of the toasts. Then place the tray under the broiler for about 3 minutes, or until the cheese melts and is just beginning to turn brown. (Again, pay close attention). Remove the tray from the broiler and set it aside until you're ready to serve the soup.