A Magic Elixir

Onion Soup
Every girl knows the power of the perfect  little black dress. With a few carefully chosen accessories it can be dressed up for an elegant black tie affair, or dressed down for a hip look and a evening at the local pizza joint. Widely known by the acronym, LBD, the little black dress is not only loved for its versatility, but also for its simplicity.

Well, this onion soup recipe is the culinary equivalent of the little black dress. It's simple and quick to make, easy on the pocket book and most likely, you already have all the ingredients on hand to whip it up.

I like to make it when I start to feel that the common cold is in quick pursuit. Peeling and slicing the onions is a good way to open up the sinus passages and the addition of both brandy and vermouth, with an ample dose of black pepper, go a long way in combatting a sore throat and giving you that warm, fuzzy feeling. Plus, it can easily be dressed up and topped with a slice of toasted French bread and gobs of melted Gruyere and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Whether served simply, or dressed for company, this soup is a winner.

Onion Soup

8 Large onions, peeled and sliced
6 Garlic toes, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 Bay leaves
3 T. Cracked black pepper
1 T. Salt
1/2 Cup of brandy
1 Cup of White vermouth
1 qt. Chicken stock, plus additional for thinning
3 T. Unsalted butter
1 T. Olive oil

1. Melt the butter and olive oil in a heavy stock pot and allow to brown slightly.
2. Add onions to the pot. Cook and turn the onions every 4-5 minutes until they are soft and golden.
3. Add the garlic, pepper, salt and bay leaves.
4. Continue to cook until the onions are very soft and golden and the garlic is cooked, but not brown.
5. Add the brandy and allow the brandy to cook down until almost evaporated.
6. Add the white vermouth; cook for 5 minutes.
7. Add the chicken stock and continue to cook until very flavorful and onions are soft.
8. Turn off heat and allow the soup to cool.
9. When cool, use a boat motor to puree the soup. You can puree it so that the onions are completely blended into the broth, or you can leave it a bit chunky.
10. Reheat and add a bit of broth until the soup is of the desired consistency.

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