Well, today you wouldn't think it was spring, there are dark clouds, rain and even snow in places (which is great, 'cos I'm planning on spending the Easter weekend under canvas in my new, hilariously huge tent) but luckily, today's soup recipe works as well in the cold and miserable weather as it does in the sunshine.
I love onions, especially when they are caramelised, that deep rich flavour that comes out is amazing - its the first place I start when I make gravy (and regular readers will know just how important a good gravy is to me), curries and yes, soups.
I once made french onion soup on a date when I was trying to impress with my culinary skills, but unfortunately, the recipe I was following produced a nasty, bitter soup that didn't cast my mad soup skillz in the best light. And the dish that followed, Baked Camembert was equally a disaster, as the cheese I bought turned out to be Camembert STYLE cheese that didn't melt, and just tasted weird when it came out of the oven. Happily, the person I was trying to impress found it all a bit funny, especially when she saw I was close to tears due to the menu malfunction, so all's well that ends well
Needless to say, this soup is NOT that recipe, and uses some more of my current culinary obsession - wild garlic. However, if you can't get any, the soup works well without it...
750g Red Onions
2tsp Brown Sugar
2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
1.2l Beef Stock
150ml Red Wine
1tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1. Peel and finely chop the onions. I cheated and used a food processor for this - mainly to spare myself from tears!
3. Cook the onions for 20-25 minutes, until they have turned nice and soft. Stir regularly to stop the from sticking!
4. Add the red wine and turn up the heat. Let the liquid reduce by half, and then add the stock and balsamic vinegar.
5. Bring the soup to a simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes.
6. Heat the oven to 180ºc. Cut the french bread into slices and pop it in the oven for 5-6 minutes, turning once
7. Chop the wild garlic and throw into the pan just before serving. Also, check the soup and season to taste.
8. Spread a generous helping of goats cheese onto your french bread. Put a couple of slices in warmed bowls and then add soup