Food: Sweet onion and thyme soup

 
Sweet onion and thyme soup
Sweet onion and thyme soup

Now I love a steaming bowl of French Onion soup just like the next person, but I find it really hard to eat especially in company. Hot slippery bits of onion always seem to flick back onto my chin leaving trails of oniony broth dribbling down  my face - not pretty. It's also really hard for kids to eat - so I decided to make a smooth version and I really love it. It's creamy without any cream and it's really easy to make, you just need a little time. For added fun for the kids I made cheesy crouton stars - but you could go traditional with baguette croutons.

Sweet onion and thyme soup
Sweet onion and thyme soup

To make your own soup you will need:

Olive oil Butter 6 large onions 1 large clove garlic 5 sprigs of thyme A slug of brandy (I use brandy in this soup, just for the flavour, I reduce it down to almost nothing, so I'm pretty sure there is no alcohol left when my children eat this soup. If you're worried you can leave it out, but it will alter the taste of the soup - personally I'd leave it in and open a tin of Heinz for the kids.) 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock

For the croutons

Good white bread, cut into thick slices Star cutter Cheese - cheddar is great, but blue cheese such as stilton would be amazing for grown ups

Serves four

Sweet onion and thyme soup
Sweet onion and thyme soup

Method Slice up your onions, this is the most painful part. I run my hands under the tap after each onion, it seem to help ease the crying, I don't know why. Crush your garlic. Then melt your butter and oil together in a large saucepan and add the onions and garlic.

Give them a good stir and allow them to start to soften. Add a pinch of salt and good grind of pepper. Strip the leaves off the sprigs of thyme and add them to the onions. Pop a lid on the pan and leave the onions to cook for 50 minutes or so. Give them a stir every now and again to check they aren't sticking.

When your onions and soft, sticky and golden brown remove the lid and cook for another few minutes. Add a good slug of brandy and use a wooden spoon to scrape all the golden gooeyness from the bottom of the pan. Allow the brandy to reduce to almost nothing before pouring in the stock.

Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes. Check the seasoning. Blitz up until smooth and silky and check the seasoning again.

Sweet onion and thyme soup
Sweet onion and thyme soup

To make the croutons

Cut stars out of the bread and toast under the grill on one side only. Flip them over so the untoasted side is upper most and cover with grated cheese. Grill again until the cheese is melted and golden.

Sweet onion and thyme soup
Sweet onion and thyme soup

Serve your soup in some lovely bowls like these gorgeous Wobbler Bowls from the lovely folk at Loaf. Float your croutons on top, or swirl in a dash of cream and sprinkle over some fresh thyme leaves. Gorgeous.

This post was written in collaboration with Loaf. The recipe and opinions are all mine. I will only ever feature products and brands on Really Pretty Useful that I truly love and recommend. I hope you will love them too.

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