1.In a large saucepan, melt the butter and saute the onions and caraway over a medium heat for about 8-10 minutes until they are soft and starting to colour – this brings out their sweetness.
2.Add the vinegar, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce and cook for 5 minutes. Add the stock and water, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
3.Rinse the lentils, add to the soup and simmer for a further 20 minutes or until the lentils are al dente. Check for seasoning.
4.To make the cheesy floats, cut the French stick into thin rounds and arrange on a lined baking tray. Top each with grated cheese, then toast under the grill for 3-4 minutes until golden and bubbling.
5.Sprinkle with seasoning or fresh herbs if desired.
Caramelising the onions gives this soup an intense, aromatic flavour. The lentils add a bit of texture but won’t make it too cloudy. The tasty little cheese floats are delicious once the soup soaks in.Note