The past 2 months have been so busy, suddenly it was Christmas and then it was over and I was cleaning up glitter. One more holiday before the bleak month of January. This would make a wonderful start to New Year’s Eve dinner. I served this as a soup course for 9 as part of Christmas Eve dinner. I made it the night before, then heated up and added the cheese and cream right before serving. It also reheated well the next day. This is adapted from a EMERIL LAGASSE recipe. I did not take a lot of photos as I was in full on dinner party mode but trust me this soup is worth making!
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onions
8 to 12 garlic cloves, smashed, plus 1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
2 quarts Chicken Stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
2 cups 1-inch cubes crusty French or Italian bread
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Parmesan Cheese Toasts
Heat the oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the onions, the smashed garlic cloves, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are softened and golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the minced garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the stock and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
Add the bread cubes. Cook, whisking often, until the bread disintegrates and thickens the soup, about 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Purée the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor or blender. Return to the pot and whisk in the cream, cheese, and parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
Ladle into bowls. Serve with the hot cheese toasts.
Parmesan Cheese Toasts
Twelve 1/4-inch-thick baguette slices (cut on the diagonal to make large slices)
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/3 cup Mayonnaise (I used Black Truffle Aioli)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Spread the bread on a baking sheet. Mix the cheese, mayonnaise, parsley, garlic, and cayenne in a small bowl. Spread a heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto each slice of bread.
Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot.