Tuscan Onion Soup with Shaved Parmesan
This extraordinary Tuscan-style onion soup with shaved Parmesan cheese was created by Chef Thomas Catherall, C.M.C.
3 pounds white onions (3 or 4 large)
4 medium leeks
4 ounces pancetta, in 1 piece
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups chicken stock
3 to 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 to 1 cup fruity red wine, such as Merlot or Beaujolais
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
6 slices rustic country style bread
2 garlic cloves, peeled, halved
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, in 1 chunk
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Peel the onions and cut in half lengthwise. Thinly slice crosswise. Trim the leeks and cut in half lengthwise. Slice crosswise in 1/4-inch slices, using 3 inches of pale green. Place the leeks in cold water, and rinse to remove the dirt. Drain. Reserve the onions and leeks.
- Unroll the pancetta and dice into 1/4-inch pieces.
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until some of the fat has been rendered, about 5 minutes.
- Add the onions and leeks. Sauté for 20 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
- Add the stock, and simmer 30 minutes.
- Stir the vinegar, wine, salt, and pepper into the soup. Cook until thoroughly heated.
- Toast the bread slices, and rub with the peeled garlic clove halves.
- Spoon the soup into soup bowls. Float the bread croutons in the soup. Pare 4 or 5 shavings of the cheese on top of each serving. Garnish with the chopped parsley, and serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.
Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.