I, of course, had plans for tzaziki sauce and crudités to go along with the spanakopita I had defrosted from the refrigerator last night, but then, the rains came…my wife wouldn’t be home till 9pm…so, since I’d never done it before, I figured it was time for Soup a l’Oignon.. I realized the basics–slowly caramelized onions in butter or oil, some thyme and seasoning with garlic, a little flour for thickening, and a big splash of wine and simmering beef broth.

And so I proceeded, realizing that I had the house all to myself for at least a couple of hours. Joy!

I began with the onions in some butter and a clove of garlic.

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A little later the onions had begun to caramelized nicely, but still needed some time (about 20 minutes)

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After a few more minutes they were suitably aromatic and nicely browned.

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At this point, after about 25 minutes, I added the flour and gave it a stir, followed by a bit of red wine.

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By then, I had turned the broiler on low and filled my brand new ‘French onion soup bowl with handle’ to the brim with simmering broth and onion, layered on two slices of baguette, and a generous helping of Comte cheese (unshown here is my first failed attempt which BURNED the bread slices and dried out the cheese–so I simply sliced a couple more pieces of bread, grated a bit more cheese, and voila! Ready for the 2nd, successful attempt!

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I am not an overly insecure type, but I remain uncertain if this is the ‘real deal’ or not, were I to bring in some random French citizen to sample my effort. As it is, it was served piping hot, the baguette slices would have been better toasted rather than simply a melting platform for the cheese the second, successful time, but otherwise, it was very ‘onion-ey’ and flavorful, with the bread and the cheese adding some lovely texture and flavor nuances.

Next time I really must make my own beef broth from scratch so I realize that the broth base is the key. All in all, a satisfying first try.

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