Dinner, Soups

French Onion Soup

“You can never hold back spring
You can be sure that I will never stop believing
The blushing rose will climb
Spring ahead or fall behind
winter dreams the same dream every time”
Tom Waits

Thousands of words have been spoken over the past few days. Where those words take me, from this moment on, is a complete mystery. Questions crept into my mind and begged to be answered – but I had no answers. Nor did I have anyone to give me any answers. I headed to my kitchen, grabbed my big pot and made soup. But here is the thing…I was not looking for something quick. I had hours ahead of me and needed a distraction from my thoughts. I was seeking a recipe that would remind me that patience pays off. I started in and slowly, carefully began chopping up onions and knew that if I took baby steps I would make it through (after all, I always did). I knew at the completion of this project there would be something comforting and hot to fill my empty and cold self. French Onion Soup…my Sunday supper.

French onion soup is an act of patience. Onions get caramelized in butter, olive oil, a tiny bit of sugar, fresh thyme and kosher salt. Did you know that properly caramelizing onions gives one too much time in which to think? Fact. After the onions had turned a beautiful dark brown color I slowly added in some dry vermouth. It was the right thing to do.

Happy Onions…

And then the beef broth gets added in slowly. Pepper is added in to taste. Everything simmered away for a long while. I caught up on real life things (housework, teaching Sonny the beagle how to roll over – you can teach an old dog new tricks!). I  ladled the soup into my lone little ramekin, floated a round of a baguette and topped it with freshly grated gruyere. It was put in the oven to heat through.

The soup emerged all bubbly and happy (that line made me think of Colbie Caillat’s “Bubbly” song..please, make it stop!). I couldn’t help but smile at this masterpiece I created. Three hours had passed and this was the moment I had been waiting for.

The taste test: I thought it was deep, dark and slightly raw (or was it my mind playing tricks on me again?). It was stripped of all of the fussiness that some soups have – you know the fancy creme fraiche swirls in different colors and artsy designs adorning the top. My thyme sprigs were just fine for me, thank you. I was gently reminded that perhaps it was lovely, dark and deep…

I will agree to that. You can visit Smitten Kitchen for the recipe I used. If you have a few hours, a big pot, a sharp knife, patience and an oven make this soup I highly recommend it. I am certain you will be richly rewarded. Thanks for reading!

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