2 large sweet onions, peeled and rough chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Small handful of thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 pound bacon, small diced
3 granny smith apples, 2 peeled and rough chopped for the soup and 1 for garnish, if desired
1 quart chicken stock (water can be substituted)
1 quart of apple cider
1/4 c. parsley minced
salt and pepper
In a large stockpot, render the bacon until the chunks are crispy golden brown. Remove with a a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel to drain off fat. Next add the onions to the stockpot and cook at medium heat until the onions begin to caramelize stirring occasionally. Then add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf and apples and continue to cook making sure the onions turn golden brown. Cook about 10 minutes and then cover with cider and stock. Bring up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook at a simmer until everything is soft and tender, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree the soup in small batches in a Cuisinart. Strain the soup and season it with salt and pepper to taste.
For garnish (if desired):
Peel the remaining apple and cut into a small dice or brunoise(which is an even smaller dice) and cook in a saute pan with a touch of butter, salt and pepper for about 3-4 minutes. For pretzel croutons simple cut up a pretzel roll into a small dice and place on a sheet try and toast briefly in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes. Add apples, pretzel croutons and parsley to soup before serving.