Bananas go to law school, too!


Soup's On!

Listening to a little Handsome Boy Modeling School & drinking some Irish Coffee -- life could not get much better.

Strike that. If I didn't have this [imaginary] brief due in three weeks, life would be right-on. AND if I understood anything that was going on in Civ Pro, that would help too. Regardless, things are good in the neighborhood.

In no small part to magical French Onion Soup I just spent way-too-long-especially-since-I-SHOULD-be-studying making. It's simmering in the slow cooker right now so as to fully incorporate the flavours (British spelling!) Recipe will follow because, really, what's better than typing out a recipe when procrastinating, no?
I bought a new cookbook - The Culinary Institute of America's Book of Soups. Because I like soup and I like America. I played up the French Onion soup (strike that, I just added extra brandy to the recipe because brandy is delicious in soup-form. And played with some of the spices). Tomorrow, I'm going to try to make "Black Bean and Butternut Squash Soup[s]" which is cool if only because the picture has both the soups in ONE BOWL so as to make something of a half-moon cookie (in soup-form). Yummy! Look to the cookie! (Seinfeld reference).

I still have half a bottle of brandy in the kitchen; so stop by and make like Ladies' Man and drink Courvoisier out of a red plastic cup with me. Or put it in your coffee before class tomorrow; oh YOU KNOW.

Anyways, as promised, recipe; decrease the brandy content if you don't feel like pretending to be an alcoholic ("pretending" because all the alcohol cooks off, so it's really all for show when you go glug glug glug of the brandy bottle into the soup).

French Onion Soup (adapted from The Culinary Institute of America's Book of Soups)
1/4 cup olive oil
4 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup of brandy
6 cups of beef broth or stock
3-4 fresh parsley stems, 1 sprig of fresh thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of tarragon & 1 bay leaf in a sachet/tea infuser.
pinch of salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
French bread
Grated Gruyere cheese

Heat the oil in a large skillet/soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook without stirring until the onions begin to brown on the bottom (approx 10-15 min). Raise the heat to medium, stir, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deeply caramelized (dark golden brown). The total cooking time will be about an hour and a half. If the onions begin to scorch, add a few tablespoons of water and continue cooking. (be patient)

Meanwhile, heat the beef broth/stock and the sachet of herbs in a slow cooker on low heat.

Add the garlic to onions and continue to cook about 4 more minutes. Add the brandy (glug glug!) and simmer until the liquid has nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Add onion mixture to slow cooker of broth and cook, stirring occasionally for about 2-3 hours. Remove the sachet and discard. Season with salt and pepper.

Put in container and chill overnight, skimming the fat in the morning. Or you can just use it right away, but it might be a bit oily.

When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350F and bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Ladle the soup into individual ovenproof soup crocks. Top each crock with a slice of bread and sprinkle with grated cheese, covering the bread completely, and allowing the cheese to touch the edge of the crock.

Set the soup crocks in a baking dish and add enough boiling water to reach 2/3 up the side of the crocks. Bake until the soup is thoroughly heated and the cheese is lightly browned, 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately.