Why not join me for lunch?
French Onion Soup is on the menu.
In order to begin, we need a few things.
An apron. After all, it sets the mood.
I love linen. Have I told you that?
The polite way in which linen holds each wrinkle, much like a blueprint of our daily activities, is impressive, thoughtful even.
Similar to laugh lines I see these trails, pressed into the fabric, as reminders that the things we experience are worth noting.
I sift through my thoughts, leave my linen distraction behind, and return to our list of ingredients.
This serves 2-4 people depending on your serving dish.
1 large white onion, sliced
1/4 cup unsalted butter (this matters, unsalted)
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
1/4 cup red wine
1 pinch mustard powder
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
bread of choice, small amount (I used large, oyster crackers, but a baguette would work perfectly fine, as well).
Add butter, onion slices, bay leaf, mustard powder, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper to a medium pot. Cook until onions are tender and caramelized. This takes about 20-30 minutes. You'll know.
Add the red wine.
I give permission to have a taste, as well. It's important to make sure the flavor is just right, smiling.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes. We want the wine to evaporate and the onions to dry. Remove the bay leaf.
Sprinkle the flour atop the onions and stir. Cook this for about 10 minutes or so, over medium low. This matters. You want the soup to have a little body but not taste like flour.
Now add vegetable broth, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Careful with the salt ... just in case the crackers or bread contain salt.
Select your baking/serving bowl. One for all, is best.
Are you ready to eat?
If not, let your soup cool and refrigerate until you're hungry.
If so, preheat the broiler.
With a large spoon or ladle, add the onion soup to bowl(s).
Now, we need the crackers or bread. (I used crackers for no specific reason other than they are in the cupboard today).
Float crackers/bread atop the soup.
Now, we are ready for the Gruyere cheese!
Top with sliced cheese (I cross two in the center of each bowl). Then grate an additional generous amount of cheese and place atop the crackers/bread.
I head toward the oven and place the bowls, in the oven, to allow the crackers/bread to brown and the cheese to melt all over the place.
This is the good part.
The kitchen smells amazing, right?
We have a few minutes to clean up, before lunch is served.
If my camera could walk, she would find her way to the table, set a place, and join me for lunch.
It's time to claim this yummy concoction and decide if we have done well, in the kitchen, today.
A little higher, please, and leaving behind the unfinished cleanup, I take a bite.
Not a small, timid bite, but a big one. It seems necessary.
I go back for another bite, and then another.
Why judge, right?
With each swallow, my tongue doesn't shy away from salivating for more.
Num, num, and num!
Because this must come to an end, I leave you with a recipe for French Onion soup and an endless amount of friendship and a generous portion of sharing.
Thank you for joining me for lunch.
Let's do it again, soon.
Until next time, my friends.