As the seasons transition from winter to spring, we’re met with some funny weather. The difference between the high and low temperatures each day are wide and it seems we get more rain. Over this past weekend it was drizzly, chilly and perfect for soup. In the coming months we may turn to gazpacho and other summer soups, but for now we can still savor this wonderful, aromatic and delicious soup.
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Source: Adapted from Williams-Sonoma
2 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
2 red onions, thinly sliced
generous pinch of sugar
2 leeks, including tender green portions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups beef broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
1/4 generous tsp. dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
4 baguette slices, each 1⁄4 inch thick, toasted
shredded gruyère or comté cheese
2 cups boiling water, plus one beef bullion cube (optional)
1. In a large Dutch oven, over medium-low heat, warm the oil and butter. Add the onions and sautee, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 15 minutes. Add the sugar and leeks and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until richly colored and caramelized, 30 to 45 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and sautee for 1 minute. Add the stock, wine, bay leaf and thyme. Cover partially and simmer until the flavors are well blended, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper (I would add a little bit at time, let it simmer, then tweak again. Also, if you want to beef up the flavor – no pun intended – this where you would add the dissolved beef bullion if using. Just add a little at a time, let it simmer and taste.) Remove the bay leaf and discard.
3. To serve, preheat the broiler. Ladle the soup into individual flameproof soup bowls. Place 2 or 3 slices of toasted bread on top of each bowl and sprinkle with the cheese.Place in oven and let broil until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.