This soup started life as onion and apple cider soup, but having no cider one day, and a glass of champagne at hand, we substituted the cider for champagne and have never looked back!
Onion & champagne soup with parmesan toasts
- 40 g (11/2 oz) butter
- 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) brown onions, thinly sliced in rings
- 1 bay leaf
- 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) champagne
- 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) beef stock
8 slices sourdough bread
dijon mustard (optional)
100 g (31/2 oz/1 cup) grated parmesan cheese
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and bay leaf, cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until the onion has softened and started to caramelise. Stir regularly to remove any onions sticking to the base of the pan.
Remove the lid from the pan, add the champagne and cook the soup for a further 10 minutes over medium–low heat. Add the stock and 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) water, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for a further 15 minutes, or until the soup thickens.
Preheat a griller (broiler) to high. Spread the mustard over the sourdough slices, if using, and then top with the grated parmesan. Place under the griller and grill until the cheese is melted and golden.
Divide the soup between serving bowls, serve with the parmesan toasts on the side and the remaining champagne.