Monday, March 19, 2012

Notre Dame de Paris et la soupe à l'oignon

Just a few days ago, Arles Lucy and I browsed Shakespeare and Company for an hour or so (her first time!).

I found a book of D.H. Lawrence poems for Mme P.  We talked to a couple of the current residents as they read in the upstairs reading room.  I didn't take photos because, well, you aren't supposed to.  Arles Lucy didn't see the sign and was snapping away...  I did add my own Sabbatical Chef carte de visite to the bulletin board.  I just couldn't help myself and then I took a quick photo.  (It's on the very bottom-- not a clear photo, but I was in a hurry. I didn't want the ghost of George Whitman to catch me in the act.)
After we finished our shopping, we walked across the street, searching for a lunch spot.  You just can't ask for a better view...
 Notre Dame de Paris.   That morning, we had had a great explanation of cathedrals, thanks to the Amazing Amale, our ACIS guide.
 I wish all teachers could be as interesting as she is.
The Crown of Thorns was going to be on display later in the afternoon.  We couldn't stay.  I've never seen it and would really love to.  It was supposedly given to (or bought by?) Louis IX, Saint Louis, during the Crusades.  He built Sainte Chapelle, a jewel of Gothic architecture on the Ile de la Cité, to hold it.

Across the street from the cathedral, Arles Lucy and I found this little café/restaurant-
Fresh flowers on the table, a beautiful menu--

La soupe à l'oignon...
It was very, very good.  Worthy of a close-up photo of the bread and melted fromage.
My lunch today was good, a nice salad and tabouli, but the view wasn't quite the same...  Oh well.
I'll always have Paris, my memories, and my photos.

I've posted an onion soup recipe before, but I am always looking for new ones and I found this one on-line.   Elle est vraiment délicieuse, cette soupe!

French Onion Soup 2- La soupe à l'oignon
4-6 servings

6 large red or yellow onions, peeled, cut in half, and thinly sliced
Olive oil
1/4 tsp. sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 c. beef stock, chicken stock or a combination of the two (traditionally the soup is made with beef stock)
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. dry thyme or a few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
Sliced toasted French bread
1 1/2 c. grated Swiss Gruyère cheese
Grated Parmesan

In a large saucepan, sauté the onions in the olive oil on medium high heat until well-browned, but not burned, about 30-40 minutes or longer.  Add the sugar about 10 minutes into the process to help with the caramelization.

Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add the stock, wine, bay leaf, and thyme.  Cover partially and simmer until the flavors are blended, about 30 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Discard the bay leaf.

There are two ways to serve:

Use oven-proof individual soup bowls.  Ladle the soup into the bowls.  Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese.  Put under the broiler for 10 minutes at 350˚F or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned.

If you don't have oven-proof bowls, put the cheese on the toast and place it on a baking sheet and in the oven as listed above.  Ladle the soup into bowls and place the cheese toast on top of the soup.

Bon appétit, Notre Dame!

No comments: