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With the arrival of some cooler fall weather, I start thinking about soup more and more. Since harvesting my onions from the garden, those thoughts turned to onion soup.
We’re all familiar with the classic French onion soup, which is good, but I was feeling sort of “been there done that” when it came to that. I’d also heard of another, less familiar classic onion soup, which is Cream of Onion soup, or Veloute.
However, in looking at recipes for this, I found it involves beaten egg yolks, and thus all the attendant issues of having to “temper” the yolks by adding small amounts of the hot liquid to the eggs gradually, to equalize temperature before you add them. (That’s so you don’t end up with onion soup with chunks of scrambled egg in it, instead of a nice creamy soup).
While I am fully capable of this, I was feeling lazy that day and didn’t want to deal with it. But I could see that the eggs would add another layer of richness to the soup, so I started thinking about an easier way to do that.
And then I thought about cheese. After all, French onion soup is usually served with cheese melted on top, so why not do a cream soup with the cheese incorporated into it?
After a couple of trials, I settled on my favorite combo of a beef broth base and smoked gouda cheese. I have also done this soup with a chicken broth base and gruyere cheese. (Gruyere is another cheese that plays particularly well with onions). Feel free to experiment with different cheeses, and also with the amount of cheese. Also, although shredding will ensure that the cheese melts completely, I have also cut it into small cubes, which don’t melt all the way and instead leave the soup with cheesy little bites, which can be kind of fun.
Creamy Onion Cheese Soup
- 2 cups sweet onion, sliced (about 1/2 large)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup smoked gouda cheese, shredded or finely cubed (about 6 oz)
- 2 tsp worcesterchire sauce
- Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium low heat, add onions and sweat until transluscent and just beginning to turn golden, about 10 minutes.
- Add flour, salt and pepper, stirring and heating for about 2-3 minutes more, until thickened.
- Add beef broth, and bring to a boil, about 2 minutes.
- Add cream, cheese and worcestershire sauce, and simmer for about 5-10 minutes more, until onions are very soft and cheese is melted. Adjust seasonings as desired.