|5 medium onions|
|100g / 4oz goat's cheese|
|1 tablespoon of wholegrain mustard|
|1 tablespoon horseradish sauce|
|1 litre / 1¾ pints of vegetable stock|
|5 tablespoons of virgin olive oil|
|Handful of fresh parsley|
|Salt and pepper to taste|
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6 (fan ovens to 190°C / 375°F / Gas Mark 5)
Peel, top and tail then slice the onions. Roughly chop the slices.
Cut the goat's cheese into small cubes.
Just before it's needed, finely chop the parsley, reserving four sprigs for decoration.
A delicious soup which benefits from roasting the onions to bring out their natural sweetness. Contrasting the onions is the tart and salty taste of the goat's cheese, a perfect combination.
Keep an eye on the onions towards the end of their cooking time. Different ovens cook at different speeds so your timings may vary by five minutes or so. The aim is to get some of the onions a golden brown, the remainder will be light brown and fully softened.
We used organic goat's cheese bought from our local supermarket. For aficionados of goat's cheese this may be an over-simplification because if you look hard enough in deli shops there is a huge variety of goat's cheeses. The majority are made in France but even in England and especially Wales, there are a couple of well-known varieties. Whichever cheese you use, be aware that some goat's cheeses are highly salted to preserve them. So go easy on adding any additional salt to the soup.
A top quality producer of goat's cheese is Innes Cheese in Staffordshire. They have twice won Supreme Champion at the British Cheese Awards and produce several different varieties of goat's cheese. Their website lists how and where to obtain some of their delightful produce.
As far as French goat's cheese is concerned, there is a large number of different types. Probably best known is Crottin de Chavignol, with a nutty taste this variety has a rind. The older the cheese, the more crumbly it becomes.
See the picture on the right for the size of the sliced and roughly chopped onions.
Place the onions in a baking tray and sprinkle the olive oil over them. Turn the onions so that they are all well coated with the oil. Place them in the oven for about 45 to 50 minutes until they have part coloured to golden brown. Turn them twice during cooking to help them cook evenly.
Sprinkle in the chopped parsley. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. We would recommend blending half the soup in a food processor and then adding it back to the pan to re-heat for a couple of minutes.
Serve the soup into warm bowls, top with a few chunks of goat's cheese and a sprig of parsley
Toasted garlic bread goes superbly with this soup. To make a full meal of roasted onion soup serve with grilled cheese on toast. Simple, chunky bread is also a good choice.