Photos: Jaymi Heimbuch
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 30 minutes
- 4 large red onions, thinly sliced
- 8 cups sodium-free vegetable broth
- 1 cup Public Domain Coffee
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Drizzle olive oil
- Several bread slices
- Dash salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large stock pot, add the thinly sliced onions and some olive oil. You want just enough olive oil to lightly coat them.
- Turn the heat to medium-high and cook the onions down, caramelizing them. Only stir them every 5 minutes. If they begin to burn instead of caramelizing, reduce the heat a bit. Caramelizing onions is really a balancing act between your burner (electric or gas) and the quality of your stock pot.
- Once the onions have been reduced, add the vegetable broth. I prefer sodium-free broth so I have more control over the flavor. I use unsalted butter for the same reason.
- Add the thyme, white wine and sugar. Bring the mixture to a very low simmer and cook covered for about three hours (or until you cannot stand it anymore). Stirring occasionally.
- Now, here's where things gets interesting. While that simmers, brew a single cup of your favorite coffee. I used a cup of Kenya AA Kiandu from Public Domain Coffee. (The coffee grower was 2011's Good Food Award winner. Paul Thornton, of Coffee Bean International, started the company back in 1972.)
- Add the cup of coffee to the soup in small batches, stir well and taste. You don't want your soup to taste like coffee, you just want to enhance the flavor. Depending on how strong you brew yours, you might not use a full cup. Then salt and pepper the soup to taste.
- For each serving, fill a ramekin with heaping amount of soup and place in large baking dish.
- You'll need one bread slice for every ramekin, with the crust cut off.
- Place bread on top of ramekin and give it a good shove. Remember, this isn't the time to be tidy.
- Top the ramekins with a slice of cheese. Heck, use two. You can never have enough cheese.
- Broil for just a few minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
Seriously, how yummy does that look? I lived off this soup for about a week after making this recipe and the photographs still make me hungry. Mmm mmm, good.
This story was originally written for Treehugger. Copyright 2011.