Recipe adapted from NYTimes
This time of year there's almost always some leftover cider in my fridge, often abandoned after being put to good use in mulled wine or punch. Hard [or not!] cider blends beautifully with sweet onions and savory cheese. What's more, buying NY cider is an excellent way to support your local farmers.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or Earth Balance
6 large red onions, peeled, quartered, and sliced thin
3 large cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tart apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 cups cider (hard cider or non-alcoholic!)
6 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cups vegetable stock
Ground black pepper
4 1/2 ounces Cheddar, slivered
7 thick slices of country bread about 4 inches in diameter, toasted
1. Melt butter in a 5- to 6-quart saucepan on very low heat. Add onions and garlic, dust with salt, stir in apples, cover and cook until onions are very soft, about 30 minutes. Stir in sugar, increase heat to high and cook, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes, until onions start to brown. Stir in cider vinegar, scraping bottom of pan.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in cider, soy sauce and stock, bring to a simmer, cover and cook gently about 20 minutes. Season with pepper and, if needed, more salt. Meanwhile, pile the cheese on the toast slices, covering the bread completely.
3. Heat broiler. Divide soup among 6 to 8 ovenproof ramekins, deep bowls or big mugs with about 12-ounce capacity. Place a slice of toast and cheese on each, place ramekins on a baking sheet and broil just until cheese melts and starts to bubble. Serve at once.