Bacon, Beer and Worcestershire Onion Soup with Blue-tons

Aired August 5, 2014

Serves 4
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
10 slices smoky, lean bacon, chopped
4 large onions, quartered lengthwise then very thinly sliced across
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
Black pepper
1 bottle pale ale, at room temperature
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 quart veal or beef stock
2 cups water
Salt, to taste
4 slices good quality white or sourdough bread, corners trimmed (if necessary) to fit tops into your soup bowls
2 tablespoons melted butter   
1/2 pound smoked blue cheese or English blue cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped 
Heat a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat with oil. Add bacon and stir until crispy but not overcooked, 5 minutes or so. Add onions and garlic, and stir in thyme and pepper. Cook 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are very sweet and caramel in color. Turn heat up to medium-high, add beer and reduce by half. Add Worcestershire, stock and water to pot, and simmer for flavors to combine. Season with salt, to taste.
Heat oven to 350°F.
Brush bread slices with a little melted butter and bake 12-15 minutes until golden and toasted. Top toast with blue cheese and return to oven 3 minutes to melt cheese. Remove from oven and top with herbs.
Fill soup bowls and top with blue cheese croutons.
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