- 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.