Bobby Flay Cookbook Giveaway and Vidalia Onion Soup with Blistered Vermont Cheddar-Topped with Parsley Pesto

PUBLISHED ON: 01.21.2012

A beautiful American twist on a French classic.  This is what makes American food not just good but great.  Sweet Vidalia onions are used and when caramelized real slow, it really intensifies their flavor.  The replacement of the traditional Gruyere cheese with a classic American sharp white Vermont cheddar, well nothing else needs to be said.  As a grand finale it’s topped with a fresh parsley pesto that brings another layer of flavor and color to this hearty, delicious soup.

These days our American food is more diverse and infinitely better, and it is in part due to chefs like Bobby Flay who actively celebrate America’s great flavors.

I am giving away a copy of Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook. If you are interested, leave me a comment.  I will select a winner randomly on January 28.

Vidalia Onion Soup with Blistered Vermont Cheddar
Serves 8
Recipe from Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds Vidalia onions, halved and thinly sliced (note: can be replaced with Walla Wallas from Washington or Hawaii’s Maui onions)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 cups chicken stock
8 sprigs fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 thin slices French baguette, lightly toasted
1 pound aged cheddar cheese, grated
1.  Melt butter with the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 40 minutes.
2.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add the brandy and sherry and boil until almost completely evaporated, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.  Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.  Whisk in the stock and thyme, bring to a simmer, and cook until the soup is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and discard the thyme.
3. Preheat the broiler.
4.  Divide eight 16-ounce ovenproof crocks between 2 baking sheets.  Put a slice of bread in the bottom of each crock.  Fill each crock until three-quarters full.  Place another slice of baguette over each soup and divide the cheese on top.  Carefully slide the crocks under the broiler and broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown, 2-3 minutes.  Remove from the broiler and top each with a dollop of parsley pesto.
Parsley Pesto
Makes about 3/4 cup

2 cups packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.  Combine the parsley, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped with the motor running, slowly add the oil through the feed tube and process until combined.
2.  Add the cheese, season with salt and pepper, and pulse a few times just to incorporate.  Scrape into a bowl.  The pesto will keep for up to 2 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

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