Another zen moment for me during very hectic weeks at work: making your own classic French onion soup.
Just butter, onions, thyme, vegetable stock, and a little dash of red wine vinegar and/or Worcestershire sauce is all you need to make this delicious soup.
As it freezes well, I made a double batch based on a trusted recipe but reduced the quantity of the stock by a third to make it more concentrated. Obviously, caramelizing about 2½kg/5½ pounds of onions (I used a mix of white, yellow, and sweet onions and some shallots) takes a lot of pans – I had to resort to three 28cm/11″ ones – and time, but it was so worth it…
Due to the slow caramelization, the onions release their natural sweetness via inulin, which also helps to bind the soup naturally.
The recipe calls for 2 slices of cheesy toasted bread, which I made with mature Gouda (the one to sink off in the soup) and gruyere (the cheese crouton on top of the bowls of soup). To prevent the cheese tasting a bit bitter, do not keep them in the oven too long. It should be in there just to melt the cheese and slightly crisp up the bread.