Rachel Allen shares a recipe taken from her new book, Coast: Recipes Inspired By Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Coast 

Irish Onion Soup with Blue Cheese Toasts 

(Serves four as a starter)

  • 25g butter
  • 600g onions, peeled and cut into 5mm thick slices
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1L chicken or beef stock
  • 150ml double or regular cream

For the Blue Cheese Toasts

  •  8 x 1cm thick slices of baguette, white yeast bread or sourdough
  • 75g blue cheese, crumbled

Melt the butter in a saucepan large enough to take the onions. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and stir.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for 75 to 90 minutes, until the onions are very deep golden brown. You’ll need to stir the onions and scrape the bottom of the saucepan every few minutes while cooking.

When the onions have caramelised, add the stock and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the cream, bring to a simmer and season to taste again with salt and pepper, then take off the heat.

When ready to serve, preheat the grill, then toast the bread on both sides and cut into smaller pieces, about 4cm.

Pour the hot soup into heatproof bowls and top with the toasted bread.

Crumble the blue cheese over the top, place the bowls under the hot grill and cook for one to two minutes until bubbling.