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Bradley Smoky Onion Soup with Sage, Crispy Croutons & Strong Cheddar

It’s cold, it’s windy, and I want comfort food. This is a British take on French Onion Soup and is ideal to come home to after a bracing walk writes Sandra Tate…

Smoked Onions 

*This recipe is suitable for beginners

smokedonionsPeel 5 large, sweet onions – the ones we used to call ‘Spanish Onions’ – and place on a wire Bradley rack. On another rack, place a few garlic bulbs (this is optional, but you may as well take the opportunity to smoke them for today’s and future use)

Set up your Bradley Smoker with 8-10 Alder (or flavour of your choice) bisquettes in the stack and set as if to cold smoke (but really no need to use the cold smoke adaptor). Smoke your onions for 2 hours, remove and set aside. The onions will be smoky on the outside and sweet inside.

Smoky Onion Soup with Sage, Crispy Croutons & Strong Cheddar

onionsoup268

Ingredients: for 4

5 Bradley smoked onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 cloves Bradley smoked garlic, peeled & crushed
1tsp brown sugar
50g butter
2tbsp olive oil
850ml chicken stock
150ml white wine
salt & freshly milled black pepper
a few fresh sage leaves, shredded, to finish
half a small loaf of slightly stale bread, torn into chunks
2tbsp olive oil
100g strong cheddar, grated, to serve

Method

1 Place the butter, olive oil and sugar in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan and melt over a high heat. As soon as it is sizzling add the sliced onions and stir in. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions are browning (do not burn), stirring and turning as you do so. Turn down the heat to its lowest and leave to cook undisturbed for a further 30 minutes – by which time the onion will be limp, and the bottom of the pan will be brown and sticky. Now pour in the white wine and stock, stir and scrape to incorporate the sticky residue, season to taste, bring to a simmer and cook gently for a further hour.

2 Preset the oven to 180°C
While the soup is simmering, toss the torn bread in olive oil and spread on a baking tray. Bake the croutons for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Remove and set aside.

3 Divide the piping hot soup between warmed bowls and scatter some shredded fresh sage over each. Serve with croutons and grated cheddar.

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