This rich soup is great for a Friday-night supper. It can be ready in less than an hour, assuming you have some beef broth in the freezer. I make it with a combination of beef and veal broth for extra richness.
1/2 cup Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 pound pancetta or salt pork, diced
5 large onions, thinly sliced
5 to 6 cups Beef Broth
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices Italian bread
2 teaspoons dry sherry
8 slices Swiss, Gruyere, or Provolone cheese, plus additional grated, if desired
In a large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat, add the pancetta or salt pork, and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the onions, cover the pot, and cook slowly for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until limp. Add the broth and grated cheese, stir well, re-cover the pot, and simmer the soup for about 30 minutes.
In a skillet, heat ¼ cup of the olive oil and fry the bread slices on each side until golden brown. Add additional oil as needed. Drain the bread on brown paper and set aside.
To serve, ladle the soup into individual ovenproof soup bowls. Add ½ teaspoon sherry to each bowl. Place a slice of cheese on top of each bowl, then a slice of bread and another slice of cheese. Sprinkle with additional grated cheese, if desired. Place the soup bowls under the broiler and broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve immediately.
This recipe is from NELLA CUCINA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1993.
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