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French Onion Mushroom Soup

Been wanting to make a French onion soup since I made it a few months ago. I couldn't find the recipe I used, so I went hunting and found this one. I tend to read recipes and use them as inspiration rather than follow the recipe by the letter, so I've written down what I actually did as opposed to what the recipe says.

- 4 big sweet onions, diced and sliced
- 1/2 cup of organic sugar
- 1/2 cup of an old Riesling that I still had in the fridge
- 1/4 tsp of Penzey's dry French Thyme
- a pinch of sea salt
- a pound of button mushroom caps, diced (use the stems for something else)
- a 32oz container of organic vegetable broth
- a pinch of pepper, as needed
- 1 tbsp cornstarch, optional

1) Sauté the onions on medium. After about 5 minutes, when the onions are good and warm and starting to release their juice, add the sugar. Keep sautéing until they start turning brown. Do not put a lid on the pan; let the juices evaporate. Don't turn the heat up so high the the onions are burning. Stir periodically.

2) Add the mushrooms to the onions. Stir periodically. Let the onions release their juices and cook down. Add the salt.

Patience. It takes a while. You could easily do this part by baking the onions and mushrooms in the oven or in a crockpot.

3) When the mushrooms are fairly cooked but not dark brown yet, add the thyme and the wine. You may find later that you want to add more thyme and Salt and Pepper for taste.

4) When the mixture is good and cooked down, add in the vegetable broth. Add as much as you want to create a soup. Some folks like a thin soup; I prefer it much thicker, so I only add about two cups of broth. Season to taste. - Marlene sez: I actually felt like something more thick, so I put a tablespoon of cornstarch into a tiny bowl and added some cold vegetable broth to it, stirred that to dissolve the cornstarch and then added it to the hot mixture.

At some point, when you're satisfied with the taste, ladle the soup into a bowl. Float a slice of garlic bread or some such on top! Melt swiss or gruyere cheese on top if you'd like (under the broiler if the bowl is safe for the boiler).

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