CARAMELISED ONION & FENNEL SOUP WITH TWICE-BAKED CHEESE SOUFFLÉS
PREP + COOK TIME 1 HOUR (+ COOLING) SERVES 6
1kg brown onions, sliced thinly
1 medium fennel (300g), sliced thinly
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock
2 cups (500ml) water thyme sprigs, extra, to serve
TWICE-BAKED CHEESE SOUFFLÉS 50g butter, chopped
1/3 cup (50g) plain flour
1½ cups (375ml) milk
1 cup (120g) grated vintage
3 eggs, separated
1/3 cup (80ml) pouring cream
1 Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; cook the onion, fennel and thyme, covered, for 20 minutes or until very soft.
Add sugar; cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until onion and fennel are caramelised.
2 Meanwhile, make twice-baked cheese soufflés.
3 Stir stock and the water into onion mixture; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Season to taste.
4 Place soufflés in serving bowls; pour soup around soufflés. Serve sprinkled with extra thyme.
TWICE-BAKED CHEESE SOUFFLÉS
Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Grease 6 x ⅔-cup (160ml) metal dariole moulds or soufflé dishes; line bases with baking paper. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually stir in milk; stir until mixture boils and thickens. Transfer mixture to a medium heatproof bowl. Stir in ¾ cup of the cheese, then egg yolks. Season to taste. Beat egg whites in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold egg white into cheese mixture, in two batches. Spoon the mixture into dishes. Place dishes in a small baking dish; add enough boiling water to the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake soufflés for 15 minutes or until firm. Stand soufflés for 5 minutes; turn soufflés out into an ovenproof dish lined with baking paper. Cool. Spoon cream over soufflés; top with the remaining cheese. Bake for a further 15 minutes or until puffed and browned.