Leek & Onion Soup
A variation on the classic French onion soup. Leeks make it sweeter. Team with crunchy cheese-and-harissa croutons. A real winter winner.
1 tablespoon butter
glug of olive oil
3/4 pound (4 cups) thinly sliced leeks
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons sugar salt pepper
1 1/2 cups white wine, apple juice or cider
3 2/3 cups vegetable broth powder
or 3 2/3 cups chicken broth powder
baguette or ciabatta, sliced
a bit of crushed garlic
2 to 3 handfuls of grated Gruyere or Cheddar
Melt the butter and oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan or casserole dish.
Add the leeks, onions, garlic, and sugar. Stir to coat in oil.
Sweat over low heat with the lid on till well softened, not colored (10 to 15 minutes). Add salt and pepper.
Increase heat. Stir the veg till they brown (don't let them burn).
Add the wine, juice, or cider. Let it bubble. Keep stirring.
Add the stock (plus extra if needed). Bring the soup to a boil for a minute, then simmer, covered, on low heat for at least 20 minutes but preferably longer for a deeper flavor. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Croutons: Toast slices of bread, or smear with a bit of olive oil and bake in a hot oven till crisp (5 to 10 minutes).
Mayo: Stir a bit of crushed garlic into the hot harissa mayo.
Ladle to soup into bowls. Spread the croutons with the mayo. Top with the cheese and drop onto soup. Nice one.