Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Onion Soup With Pretzel-Cheese Dumplings

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 pounds onions, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 12 ounces dark ale, preferably altbier
  • 6 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 branches fresh thyme
  • 2 cups packaged pretzel nuggets
  • 11/2 cups grated Gruy√®re cheese, more for serving
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard.

Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan. Add onions and sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onions are golden, about 40 minutes. Add 1 cup ale and stir, scraping pot to release caramelized particles. Add stock. Simmer 30 minutes. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Add thyme and set aside one hour or longer to infuse.

Pulse pretzels in a food processor or place in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin to make coarse crumbs. Mix in a bowl with cheese. Lightly beat eggs, whisk in mustard and remaining ale and stir this mixture into pretzel crumbs and cheese. Form mixture into 18 dumplings about the size of Ping-Pong balls, place on a platter and cover until ready to cook.

About 20 minutes before serving, fill a 3-quart saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Drop dumplings into water and simmer gently 15 minutes. While dumplings simmer, remove thyme from soup. Reheat soup.

Ladle soup into bowls. Use a slotted spoon to transfer 3 to 4 dumplings to each bowl. Serve, with additional grated cheese on the side.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Thanks to nytimes.com

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