It's been a long time since I made French onion soup. I don't know why I waited so long, it's so heartwarming.
The homemade cheddar cheese is truly "the icing on the sundae" and takes this soup to the next level.
Makes 4 soups
1 cup cashews, previously soaked overnight
1/2 cup of water
1 tablespoon of white miso
1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon of cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of tapioca starch
French onion soup
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
2L of sliced yellow onions (cut in half and then sliced)
3 teaspoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of flour
A 473ml can of red ale beer
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon of dried sage
1 teaspoon of dried basil
2 sprigs of thyme
1L of vegetable broth
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon molasses
1.5 teaspoon of salt, or more to taste
Freshly ground pepper
4 large pieces of bread
Prepare the cheese
Drain and rinse the cashews.
In a blender, reduce all the ingredients, except the tapioca starch, to a smooth cream at high power. Transfer to a pot and stir in the tapioca starch. Mix well.
Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly so that the bottom does not burn. The cheese will thicken to the consistency of melted cheese. Stop cooking when the cheese tends to form a ball.
Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until use.
Prepare the French onion soup
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions. Stir to coat them with oil and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Once the onions have fallen, add the sugar. Let the onions cook for 20 to 30 minutes to caramelize them. Stir regularly so that they don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
Once well caramelized, add the flour and coat well. Continue cooking for two minutes before deglazing with the red ale. Add the herbs and cook for 5 minutes to cook the beer alcohol. Add the vegetable broth, balsamic vinegar, molasses, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover then lower the heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes. Season as needed.
When ready to serve, remove the sprigs of thyme. Spread cashew cheddar on a piece of bread, place on each individual portion of soup and brown under the oven grill for a few minutes.
If you don't have onion soup bowls, simply brown the bread and place it on top of your soup.
Personally, I find it better the next day. So I let it cool to room temperature before transferring the pot to the fridge. I warm it up in the pot before portioning it.