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Bacon, Caramelized Onion, and Gruyere Focaccia

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Rich with olive oil, nutty Gruyere cheese, crisp thick-cut bacon and sweet onions, this focaccia is like taking a trip to the Alsace. Serve it as an appetizer, part of a brunch, or in place of bread at the dinner table.

Bacon, Caramelized Onion, and Gruyere Focaccia

1 package (2 1/4 tsp. ) active dry yeast
2 tsp. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) warm water (110°F/43°C)
3 cups (15 oz./470 g.) all-purpose flour
6 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./90 ml.) olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 cup (4 oz./125 g.) loosely packed shredded Gruyere cheese
6 slices thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon, chopped
2 yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the brown sugar in the warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the flour, 4 tablespoons (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) of the oil, salt, rosemary, and cheese. Attach the dough hook and knead on medium-low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, put it back into the bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a large cast-iron frying pan, fry the bacon over medium-low heat until just crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Discard all but a few teaspoons of the bacon fat. Add the onions and saute over medium-low heat until they start to wild, about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon brown sugar and a pinch of salt and continue to cook until the onions are golden brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the bacon, and let cool.

Oil a rimmed baking sheet with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Dump the dough onto the prepared pan and press it into a rough rectangle. Using your fingers, stretch the dough into a rectangle about 10 by 14 inches (25 by 35 cm.) Cover the dough loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until puffy, about 1 hour.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425°F (220°C). Dimple the surface of the dough with your fingertips. Gently brush the dough with oil, then sprinkle evenly with the bacon-onion mixture. Bake until gorgeously golden, 15-18 minutes. Cut into squares and serve while warm. Makes 1 flatbread.

Baker’s Note: To use the focaccia for sandwiches, omit the onion and bacon toppings and shape the dough into a smaller, thicker rectangle or square. After it has cooled, cut into squares, split through the middle and fill with goat cheese and grilled eggplant and peppers, or any of your other favorite sandwich fillings.

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Recipe Roundup: Soups & Stews

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Get inspired by these autumn soups, from vegetable purees to slow-cooked stews. Let the cool-weather cooking begin!

 

Curried Carrot PureeCurried Carrot Puree
Curry powder and orange juice add flavor and vibrancy to this earthy carrot soup, which can be served hot or chilled. To mix it up, try a touch of ground cinnamon or ginger in place of or in addition to the curry powder.
Autumn Vegetable SoupAutumn Vegetable Soup
Succulent white beans, sweet winter squash and bright chard simmer together in this meatless main-course soup. It’s the perfect dish to make in the fall when the hard-shelled squashes appear at the market. Serve with hunks of hearty bread.
Orzo, Delicata Squash and Chicken Soup with SageOrzo, Delicata Squash and Chicken Soup with Sage
Orzo pasta and chicken add heartiness to this colorful and plentiful soup. You can save time making it by using leftover rotisserie or roasted chicken; you can also substitute a different type of squash, or sweet potatoes, if you like.
Short Rib Stew with Paprika Sour CreamShort Rib Stew with Paprika Sour Cream
Short ribs braise slowly in the oven and come out caramelized and tender. This savory stew combines the shredded meat and the braising liquid with creamy white beans and a paprika-spiked sour cream for a satisfying and flavor-packed meal.
Easy French Onion SoupEasy French Onion Soup
This restaurant favorite comes together in just a few simple steps. The result: soft caramelized onions in a savory broth, with gruyere toasts to soak up all the delicious flavors.
Pumpkin Soup with Spicy Pumpkin SeedsPumpkin Soup with Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
The best part about this recipe is that it uses almost the entire pumpkin, and the seeds from the pumpkin are roasted to use for the garnish. Pack leftover toasted pumpkin seeds in your child’s lunch box (or your own!) for a fun treat.
Turkey, Two-Bean and Sweet Potato ChiliTurkey, Two-Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
Here, we’ve lightened up classic chili by using ground turkey instead of beef. A medley of spices adds flavor without the fat. Offer a selection of garnishes and let diners customize their chili as they please.
Chickpea, Porcini and Farro SoupChickpea, Porcini and Farro Soup
Every ingredient in this warming peasant-style soup, from the chickpeas and fresh herbs to the farro and porcini mushrooms, invokes Tuscany. For the most authentic pairing, serve with a Chianti Classico.
Green Chili StewGreen Chili Stew
Commonly called simply chili verde, or “green chili,” this easy-to-make, delicious dish is one of New Mexico’s most popular traditional stews. Top with a dollop of sour cream and fresh cilantro leaves.
Smoky Lentil Soup with Grown-Up Grilled Cheese SandwichesSmoky Lentil Soup
Paired with our Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, this filling soup makes an easy weeknight dinner. Bonus: it’s kid-friendly!
Pork and Pumpkin StewPork and Pumpkin Stew

Chock-full of tender pork and pumpkin and seasoned with a medley of fragrant spices, this warming stew is perfect for an autumn supper with friends. Serve over a pile of buttery mashed potatoes for a comfort food fix.

Moroccan Lamb Meatball and Couscous SoupMoroccan Lamb Meatball and Couscous Soup
Thanks to the addition of Israeli couscous, this soup has a wonderful mix of textures. The meatballs also make a delicious dinner of their own over a bed of couscous.
Hearty Beef StewHearty Beef Stew
Two things set this old-fashioned beef stew apart from its rivals: browning the beef in bacon fat and adding lots of vegetables to the pot, both of which add flavor to the velvety sauce.