Caramelized Onion and Portabello Mushroom Soup with Goat Cheese Croutons

3 T. butter
3 cloves, garlic minced
1 ½ lbs. onions, halved, thinly sliced
8 c. vegetable stock
4 sprigs thyme
1 c. dry white wine
1 ½ lbs. Portabello mushrooms, halved
18 slices baguette, 1” thick
3 T. cognac or brandy
8 oz. goat cheese, room temp

Melt 1 T. butter in heavy large pot over high heat.  Add onions and thyme; sauté until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes.  Reduce heat to low; cook until onions are caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.  Transfer onion mixture to medium bowl.

Melt remaining 2 T. butter in same pot over med-high heat.  Add mushroom; sauté until soft, about 12 minutes.  Add cognac and garlic; stir 20 seconds.  Stir in onion mixture, then broth and wine.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low, simmer until mushrooms are very tender, about 45 minutes.  Discard thyme sprigs.  Season soup with salt and pepper

Preheat broiler.  Place baguette slices on large baking sheet.  Spread goat cheese on baguette slices, dividing equally.  Broil goat cheese croutons until cheese begins to brown in spots, about 30 seconds.  Divide soup among 6 bowls.  Top with croutons and serve.


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