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Rach based this soup on two recipes she was fascinated by in Food alla Florentine, a collection of ancient and more modern dishes written by Naomi Barry and Beppe Bellini in 1972. It blends together caramelized onions and ground toasted almonds. "When I thought about the marriage of the sweetness of onions cooked a really long time with the creaminess and that earthiness of toasted nut, wow—I thought, this is something I have to try and put my own kind of spin on," says Rach. The result is incredibly velvety even though there's no cream, and the layers of flavor are amazing! Another surprise she learned from the book is adding a pinch of cinnamon to the bread that goes on top of the soup. It's so weird, notes Rach, but it's delicious!
Serve a bowl of the soup for lunch. For a bigger dinner, Rach suggests adding a small steak with grilled lemon on the side.
Add almonds to food processor and grind.
Heat a soup pot with EVOO and 2 tablespoons butter, then add onions and lightly caramelize about 30 to 35 minutes with salt and pepper. Add chopped garlic and combine with half the consomme. Bring to simmer, then add almonds and blend with an immersion blender. Simmer until ready to serve and lace with a shot of brandy or sherry.
Turn on broiler, with rack at center.
Toast bread under broiler lightly on each side and brush with remaining butter, melted with crushed garlic in small pan or microwave. Top with cheese and a bit of cinnamon and brown.
Serve the soup in bowls topped with toasts and parsley.