Maui Onion Soup with Goat Cheese
The savory onion soup is covered by a single large toasted crouton topped with cheese and pineapple. Canned pineapple works as well as fresh in this sweet-tart topping. In Hawaii, taro bread is available in specialty stores. Any flavorful loaf of uncut bread such as potato bread will do.
- Unsalted Butter - 4 tablespoons
- Maui or other sweet white onions - 4, cut into thin slices
- Madeira - 1 cup
- Beef Stock (see Basics) - 1-1/2 quarts
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Taro Loaf Croutons
- Taro bread or potato bread - 2 slices
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons, at room temperature
- Parmesan cheese - 2 tablespoons, grated
- Goat Cheese Topping
- Swiss cheese - 4, slices cut to fit croutons
- Fresh white goat cheese - 4 tablespoons
- Pineapple - 4 tablespoons, minced
- Brown Sugar - 4 tablespoons
- Ground cinnamon - for sprinkling
To make the soup: In a deep pot, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the onions until tender. Add the Madeira and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the stock and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until somewhat reduced. Periodically remove the foam that comes to the top. Season with salt and pepper.
To make the croutons: Preheat the oven to 325 F. Cut the bread in half diagonally and cut into long thin slices. Beat the butter until smooth and blend the cheese into the butter. Spread the bread slices with the butter mixture and place on a baking sheet. Bake about 20 minutes, until golden. Increase the oven heat to 375 F.
To finish the soup: Ladle the soup into ovenproof soup dishes. Place a toasted crouton on top of each serving. On top of each crouton place a slice of Swiss cheese and 1 tablespoon each of the goat cheese, pineapple, and brown sugar. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake the soup for 4 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese melts.