No soup for you

It was like an Abbott & Costello skit. Years ago, while in Atlanta visiting my collegiate partner-in-crime Katherine, I asked where her family was taking us to lunch.

“Let us surprise you,” she said.

As we drove on, curiosity got the better of me and I asked again, receiving the same response: “Let us surprise you.”

By the third time, have to admit I was a little confused and cranky. When we finally pulled into the parking lot, all became joyously clear:

Couldn’t help but think of Katherine last night while preparing dinner. Having been inspired by that Alice Waters documentary, I threw together a delicious vegetarian French onion soup with ingredients from around the house and a few treats from friends. (Thanks to Kate for fresh bay leaves and to Meg for sneaking over a bottle of California wine on her last trip home.)
Simply sauté two chopped onions in olive oil with bay leaves and a sprig of rosemary for 20-30 minutes. Add chopped garlic and cook a minute longer. Pour in four cups of strong vegetable stock, and salt to taste. Simmer until you feel like eating. And in the meantime, devour lots of home-pickled okra and Barbera wine. Be sure to serve the soup over a slab of crusty bread and top with your favorite cheese.
The most exciting part of the meal was tossing a salad with the first head of lettuce from our garden. The taste was spectacular, but next time I’ll work on improving my technique.

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