• French Onion Soup Topped with Montasio Cheese Soufflé

    Ingredients

    Yield: 6 Portions

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Onion Soup Base (see note)
    • Olive oil
      4 Tbsp.
    • Onions, peeled and thinly sliced
      4 ea.
    • White wine
      ½ cup
    • Homemade roasted chicken stock, or good-quality, low sodium commercial chicken broth
      8 cups
    • Bay leaf
      1 ea.
    • Thyme leaves, chopped
      2 tsp.
    • Salt
      1 ½ tsp.
    • Ground black pepper
      to taste
    • Sugar
      to taste
    • Lemon, juice
      to taste

    Croutons

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Soft, white bread, thinly sliced
      6 ea.

    Montasio Soufflé Batter

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Butter
      ¼ cup
    • All-purpose flour
      ¼ cup
    • Milk (whole or part-skim)
      3 cups
    • Montasio cheese, grated
      2 cups
    • Cayenne
      ¼ tsp.
    • White wine
      ¼ cup
    • Lemon, juice
      2 tsp.
    • Salt
      1 tsp.
    • Ground black pepper
      to taste

    Final Preparation

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Egg whites, room temperature
      8 ea.
    • Montasio cheese, thinly sliced
      6 ea.

    Method

    1. For the soup base: Warm olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until well-caramelized, about 10 minutes.
    2. Turn heat to high and deglaze pan with white wine, scraping up any caramelized onion bits. Let onions and white wine boil for 1 minute.
    3. Add chicken stock, bay leaf, thyme, salt, pepper, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring liquid to a boil, and reduce heat so that the liquid is at a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. Taste the stock and correct if needed.
    4. Remove soup from heat, cool to room temperature and refrigerate if using at a later point.
    5. For the croutons: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Trim bread to fit inside of individual (heatproof) onion soup bowls. Place trimmed bread slices on a baking sheet, place in oven, and toast until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, cool, and place in Ziploc bag if using later.
    6. For the Montasio soufflé batter: In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add flour and whisk continuously, until roux is well blended and beginning to bubble, 1-2 minutes.
    7. Pour 1 cup of milk into the roux, whisking continuously, until milk is completely blended and there are no lumps. Repeat with remaining milk. Raise heat just high enough so that mixture is gently bubbling. Continue to whisk until sauce is smooth, shiny and thickened, about 6 minutes.
    8. Add the Montasio cheese and stir until completely melted into sauce. Add cayenne, wine, lemon juice and salt. Stir to combine. Remove from heat. Cool and refrigerate if using at a later point.
    9. For the final soup preparation: Preheat oven to 400°F.
    10. About 45 minutes before assembling onion soup, reheat soufflé batter to lukewarm. Remove from heat and set aside.
    11. Gently reheat onion soup base.
    12. Beat egg whites to a medium peak.
    13. Pour Montasio soufflé batter into a large mixing bowl. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in 1/3 of egg whites. Repeat with remaining egg whites.
    14. Ladle onion soup bowls ¾ full of onion soup. Top with 1 crouton and then a slice of Montasio cheese, pour 1 cup of soufflé batter on top of soup.
    15. Carefully place soup bowls onto a baking sheet and place in oven. Bake until the Montasio soufflé is well-risen and golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
    16. Note: Almost every step of this unique onion soup recipe can be made a day in advance of serving. Relatively simple for its dramatic presentation and soul-satisfying effect.