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Vidalia Onion and Leek Soup with Pepato Cheese

Vidalia Onion and Leek Soup with Pepato CheeseA delightful caramelized sweet onion and leek soup made with amber beer and served atop slices of toasted sour dough bread with thin slices of pepato cheese, a delicious hard cheese similar to asiago or Romano cheese, studded with cracked black peppercorns.

Recipe Ingredients:

1/2 pound leeks
4 Vidalia onions, peeled, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups amber beer (ale) or 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
5 cups chicken stock
8 thin slices sour dough bread, lightly toasted
4 thin slices Wisconsin Pepato Cheese
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Cooking Directions:

  1. Trim the leeks. Slice the white portion of the leeks and toss with the Vidalia onion slices. Reserve some sliced leek leaves for garnish.
  2. In a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil and add butter until butter foam subsides. Add the onions and leeks and cook over low heat until onions are soft and begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the beer (or the 1 1/2 cups chicken stock) and cook until liquid is reduced by half.
  4. Add the 5 cups of stock and simmer 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  5. Ladle half the soup, a little at a time, into a blender or food processor and purée. Combine the puréed soup with the simmered soup and heat through.
  6. Ladle soup into bowls and top with bread slices. Place the Pepato slices on top of the bread slices and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.