Recipe: French Onion Grilled Cheese + Roasted Red Pepper & Cauliflower Soup
This is seriously the ultimate cold weather comfort meal right here. Creamy veggie-packed soup and a gooey, caramelized, crispy cheese sandwich…I mean, does it get any better than this? The combo of brown-buttered onions and gruyere is just outstanding if I do say so myself.
You’ll love this French onion soup in sandwich form. We decided to splurge and use focaccia bread, but we’ve made this sandwich with sourdough before and it’s honestly just as good. The cauliflower comes out fairly strong in the soup, so feel free to add an extra red pepper or even some fire-roasted diced tomatoes if you’d like. We used cream cheese for the creamy component, but you could also use goat cheese or milk. Best enjoyed by dipping the sandwich into the soup if you ask me!
INGREDIENTS - SANDWICH
One yellow onion, sliced thin
3 T. butter
3 T. white wine
4.5 oz gruyere cheese, shredded
Sourdough or focaccia bread
INGREDIENTS - SOUP
3 red bell peppers
1 small head cauliflower, chopped
One yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. dried thyme
1/2 T. dried red pepper flakes
1 t. smoked paprika
1 T. chili powder
4-5 c. vegetable broth
4 oz. low-fat cream cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
1) If you have a gas stove like we do, you can cook the red bell peppers over the burners until the outside starts to blacken. If not, then slice the bell peppers in half and remove the seeds. Place the peppers cut-side down on a baking sheet and broil until the outsides start to blacken, about 10 minutes. Place in a container and allow the peppers to steam for about 20 minutes before pinching off the skins and dicing the peppers.
2) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop up the cauliflower, toss in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add to a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes, toss, then cook for another 15 minutes.
3) Heat some olive oil in a large pan over medium-heat heat. Cook the diced onion and garlic until the onion becomes translucent.
4) Add the thyme, red pepper flakes, paprika and chili powder and cook until fragrant, or about a minute.
5) Add the red peppers, cauliflower, vegetable broth and cream cheese and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
6) Sandwich time! In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the sliced onions. Stir until onions are softened and start to brown. Season with salt and pepper, then spread the onions out evenly, reduce heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until the onions are caramelized, about 25 minutes, and stir the onions every five minutes. Turn the heat back up to medium-high and add the white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits off the bottom. Remove from heat once all liquid has absorbed.
7) Heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray down with cooking spray. Slice your bread and butter the outsides. Place one piece, butter-side down, onto the pan. Top with a layer of cheese, then onions, then cheese, and top with the other piece of bread. Cook until the cheese is melted and the outside is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.
8) Slice and serve with the soup! I also recommend topping the soup with a drizzle of sriracha or other hot sauce.