For lunch we had French onion soup, my preparation. This was a re-heat from last night's appetizer. I like cooking for friends, and Nicole, being a chef, like's people cooking for her for a change.
The soup might seem tricky, but its not. Melt some butter, then saute about 3 sliced white onions with some salt, bay leaves and thyme. Once carmelized, add some red wine then reduce until almost dry. Add a few spoons of flour, and mix around until fully absorbed. Add about a quart or so of beef broth and bring to a simmer. That's pretty much it. The more time you have the better, as the soup gets more and more flavorful the longer is simmers.
Separately toast some baguette slices with a drizzle of olive oil. Slice some freshly purchased swiss gruyere cheese and allow to warm to room temperature. Ladle the soup into your broiler-safe bowls, arrange the crostini (toasted baguette) on top, and cover with a generous serving of sliced gruyere. Put the bowl under the broiler until the cheese just starts to brown, fully melted.
On a cold, wet San Francisco January afternoon, this is a perfect dish for talking about "stuff" with good friends over a bottle of wine (if you don't have that, or that isn't your style, a Jack & Coke will do nicely). I made the soup, Nicole has the grinder. Nicole, your move...