Monday, September 28, 2009

Worth the Tears

In honor of our first real fall weather on Sunday I decided to make some autumn comfort food: French Onion Soup. I’d never made this soup myself before, but as it is one of my favorites I thought I should at least give it a try!

I started the way I usually do when making a more or less standard kind of recipe—I looked up a bunch of different ones and picked what I liked out of each. I mostly stuck to my man Alton Brown’s recipe with some additions/subtractions from here and there. I was mostly intrigued by his use of apple cider in the recipe, so I had to try it out. I did use a beef bouillon cube instead of consomme (forgive me, AB! Cubes store much better in my teeny weeny kitchen than cans do!), but to counteract a minor offense, I used my tasty/frozen homemade chicken stock. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any wine handy so I tried to make up for it with some balsamic vinegar. This was unfortunately not as successful as I’d hoped it would be. The soup as a whole was intensely flavorful, but a bit too sweet for my liking. And also a bit thick, more like an onion stew. I might not let the broth cook down so much next time.

I splurged on fresh thyme (which I’m now obsessed with and want to put in/on everything I make) and a $10 block of gruyere cheese for the croutons (which really helped balance the sweetness of the soup, i.e. made it edible).

There’s really no better excuse for a good cry than cutting up a whole mess of onions. I’m pretty stressed these days with school, applications, and composing, I feel like I’m kinda out of it most of the time. I needed to let it out a little. I tell myself that I like being busy and that it keeps me motivated, and this is sometimes true. But sometimes I’d rather just be chopping onions.

Anywho, the real moral of the story is that I will surely make this soup again in the near future, but perhaps not on a Sunday when I am unable to go to the liquor store and get some actual wine to help balance the rich flavors of sweet, sweet caramelization.

If at first you don’t succeed: try, try again. And even then, keep trying until all the tears are gone and there’s nothing left but sheer will.

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