The most adorable yet elegant Halloween soup you’ll ever see or serve in your life! These cuties are show stoppers for any dinner party. The soup, croutons, and cheese webs can all be prepped separately a few days ahead to save time. Just heat up, ladle in bowls, top with croutons and cheese, and your first course is done!
4 to 6 servings
4 to 6 slices provolone cheese
4 tablespoons rich, good-quality butter (I like Kerrygold)
2 yellow onions - sliced thin
2 red onions - sliced thin
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
2 small or 1 large bay leaf
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon balsamic reduction
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 cup red wine
4 cups beef bone broth or rich beef stock
1/2 baguette (I like sourdough) - cut into cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Make the spiderwebs. Using a stencil or picture from Pinterest and a pairing knife, lightly mark each slice of cheese to look like a spiderweb. Start in the middle with a circle, then go outward in several rows cutting upside down triangles to make the webs. * FYI: Don’t let this intimidate you. It may take a little bit of time (took me about 20-30 minutes) but I cannot draw a straight line and did this! Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, melt butter over low heat. Add the red onions, yellow onions, and a heavy dash of salt and pepper. Cook low and slow for about 15 minutes until cooked down and translucent, stirring often. Add the bay leaf, sage, and balsamic reduction and raise the heat to medium. Let cook until caramelized, stirring often.
Add the sherry to deglaze, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Let reduce almost completely, about 4 minutes. Add the red wine and let reduce by half, about 8 minutes. Add the bone broth, bring to a boil, and let simmer 20-30 minutes. When ready to serve, taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.
While soup is at a simmer, toss the bread cubes with olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place in the oven and let bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Ladle the soup into mini Cocotte or oven safe soup bowls (4” or 1/2 quart). Stir a handful of croutons and 1 to 2 tablespoons of Parmesan into each bowl then top with the spiderweb cheese. Side note: At this point, you can serve. The cheese will melt naturally into the soup. If you like a broiled top, present the soups to guests, then broil the top for 3 to 4 minutes. The cheese will all melt together once it’s in the oven though!