Upside-Down French Onion Soup.

Named for its backwards assembly, this dreamy dish is similar to your standard French onion soup, except you serve it upside-down! The “croutons” go on the bottom, the soup sits on top, and the cheese goes everywhere. Drool. And if you hate wasting things as much as I do, this is the perfect way to use up the stale leftovers of easy French bread or any other baguette-type bread. With butter, cheese, chicken broth, garlic, and fresh herbs, it’s is the ultimate comfort food. A word of warning, though: while the onion-shallot-garlic trio makes for awesome rich flavor, I discourage anyone from eating this potent soup prior to a date or a job interview, unless the date (or the job) is a garlic farmer. If your date is a garlic farmer, you’re in luck! Because this recipe serves 2.

INGREDIENTS

1 pad butter
olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
3 cups stock (I used homemade chicken stock)
salt and pepper to taste
2 slices stale French bread (I used easy French bread), cut in halves
chopped parsley and grated gruyere cheese for serving

DIRECTIONS

Over medium flame, heat butter and olive oil in a pot and add onion.

Cook until softened and add garlic and shallot. Cook 2 minutes.

Add thyme and bay leaf and pour in chicken stock. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 30 minutes, season with salt and pepper. To serve, place bread in a bowl, spoon soup over it, then garnish with parsley and gruyere. Best served piping hot!

Windowsill Herb Garden and Garlic Thyme Olive Oil.

Fresh herbs look, smell, and taste amazing, so of course they’re always welcome in my kitchen. But they’re really something of a luxury, aren’t they? Not anymore! This week I made a trip out to Gethsemane Garden Center to realize the city girl’s dream of growing my own herbs at home. There were a ton of gorgeous fruit, vegetable, and herb plants to choose from, so I decided to start off with a few of my favorites. And since I don’t have garden or porch space in my new apartment, my herbs grow in pots on my living room windowsill (for now…who knows how long I can keep these alive…). Also, a quick and easy but totally luxurious and aromatic olive oil “recipe” using herbs from my garden!

Here’s my lovely mint, great for tea:
UPDATE: I just discovered that this is actually a lemon balm plant, which is similar to mint but has a more lemony scent. Still great for tea though!

Rosemary and thyme, the second half of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair”:

And my favorites, the parsley and chives:

Now, let’s perk up that regular old olive oil and make it something special: Garlic Thyme Olive Oil.

INGREDIENTS:

Olive oil (Extra virgin is fine, but I like to use regular olive oil because it’s nicer to cook with)
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 cloves of garlic

DIRECTIONS:

Peel cloves of garlic. Rinse thyme and pat it dry. Let both garlic and thyme dry thoroughly, at least an hour (any water leftover can lead to spoilage).

Add washed and dried aromatics to a clean bottle and fill with olive oil. Let steep for 4 days, then remove thyme and garlic (again, to prevent spoilage). Use within 2 months. Great for sauteing veggies, making salad dressings, and dipping fresh-baked bread.