This soup is similar to the French classic, but it tastes even better with vacherin cheese. The fennel creates a subtle extra aroma.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
- 7 oz (200 g) stale rolls or bread, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 3 oz (85 g) smoked bacon, sliced or diced
- 4 white onions or 2 fennel bulbs
- 1 small bunch parsley
- 4 stalks marjoram or oregano
- 9 oz (250 g) Vacherin Mont d’Or (a soft Swiss cheese) or Alpine cheese
- 1 quart (1 liter) vegetable or beef broth
- 1 –2 teaspoons lemon juice
How to Make It
- Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a frying pan and cook the bacon until crispy. Remove from the pan and place on paper towels to drain. Cook the sliced bread in the bacon fat on each side until golden brown, remove, and place with the bacon.
- Peel the onions, cut in half, and slice thinly (or cut the fennel in half and slice thinly). Heat the remaining canola oil. Sweat the sliced onions (or fennel bulbs) for 6–8 minutes. Remove the parsley and other herb leaves from their stems, chop, and add to the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Add the crispy bacon, cover, and let rest a few minutes. Cut the rind from the vacherin cheese (or grate the Alpine cheese).
- Preheat the oven to 460°F (240°C) or 430°F (220°C) (convection oven). Layer the bacon mixture, the sliced bread, and the cheese in oven safe soup tureens or deep ramekins. To do so, spoon the vacherin from its container and spread onto the other ingredients (or sprinkle on the Alpine cheese), leaving some cheese for later use. Bring the vegetable broth to a boil; season with a bit of lemon juice and pour into the soup tureens. Cover with remaining cheese.
- Place the soup tureens on the middle oven rack and bake 10 minutes or until golden brown; serve hot.