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French Onion Soup

So, one of the premises of our Cooking Around the World Adventure: explore different countries by cooking a traditional meal. As we are wrapping up the 'F' countries with a tabletop trip to France, I half-heartedly suggested escargots. The response was not enthusiastic. My husband said he'd strike - only for that one meal, of course; my usually agreeable Dylan said, quite tepidly, "ohhhhhhh, okay, Mommy"; and Riley gave me a disapproving look and didn't say a word.

"What do you think of when I say 'France'?" I queried. I have never heard them answer in such unison before: "Pastries!" they hollered.

Oh, brother! I suggested quiche. No. Coq au vin. Nope. We all agreed on French Onion Soup.


onions
thyme
butter
beef boullion
pink Himalaya salt
white wine
bread, sliced (I used some day-old ciabatta)
gruyère

Peel and slice 3lbs of organic yellow onions. Cook onions, thyme, and salt in butter in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are very soft and deep golden brown, about 45 minutes. Stir in wine and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in broth and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for another 30 minutes.

While soup simmers, make the croûtes. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange bread on a large baking sheet and toast, turning over once, until completely dry, about 15 minutes. Once the croûtes have become crisp, lay sliced gruyère on the breads and return them to the oven until melted and bubbling.

Divide soup among bowl, then float a cheesy croûte in each.

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