Kitchen Table: Onion Soup Provençal

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• 8 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup sunflower oil or butter
• 2 gallons water
• 1/2 cup chopped parsley
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
• 1 teaspoon celery seed
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
• 12 fresh tomatoes, scalded 10 seconds, skinned, and chopped
• 1 cup dry red wine
• 2 tablespoons fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
• 2 tablespoons fresh marjoram or 2 teaspoons dried
• 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried
• 1 tablespoon fresh chervil or 1 teaspoon dried
• 1 cup barley miso or low-sodium miso
• Salt to taste
• Croutons for garnish
• Emmentaler cheese (optional) for garnish

Sauté the onions slowly in oil or butter about 30 minutes or until golden. Add the water and dried herbs. Simmer 30 minutes.

Turn off the heat and add tomatoes, wine, fresh herbs, and pepper. Whisk in miso. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Reheat, if necessary, over very low heat. Do not boil. Serve with croutons and emmentaler cheese.

--Carl Reisman, Urbana, Illinois

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