French onion soup

A while ago I stopped watching the news. I started to think the world is overrun with terrorists, paedophiles and ridiculous presidential candidates. An entire planet dominated by disaster, corruption, death, slavery, greed, war atrocity, selfish evil, pointless fame and bare faced lying. It’s depressing. Apparently there’s a lot of bad shit out there.

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Obviously good stuff goes on too. Newsworthiness, however, is a slippery yet prickly fruit to pick. Maybe we feel the need to care. Maybe we like to hear others have had a worse day than us. Either way I’m done. I’ve made a conscious decision to be vaguely clued up but ignorant of the details. I haven’t the heart to engage emotionally in every tragic story. I haven’t the will to be drawn in to strangers’ anguish. I don’t have the energy to think about the long term future of humankind, or the environment, or politics, or the economy, or the countless unfortunate or unfair twists of fate that crush the hope out of millions of forms of life on a daily basis.

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Maybe I’m just steeling myself for the Trump regime. But yes I’m selfish, I’d like to see the world through my own eyes – an amazing, messy, complex, ridiculous, beautiful but ultimately unspecial place. So beyond what happens to my family, friends and colleagues, the people I care about, that’s it, I’m out.

Anyway, I recently got served French onion soup for lunch. A depressingly watery thing of no real flavour and sustenance. There’s always a danger of soups veering that way. Somehow they’ve become the healthy sensible option. So I began to think about how I could still have the flavours but make it altogether more.. biteable.

The result was this: braised red onions with beef and onion gravy, gruyere cheese sauce, pickled shallots, chives and cognac ice cream on garlic and thyme toasted baguette.

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Ingredients: onions, beef and onion gravy, butter, gruyere, flour, milk, shallots, vinegar, chives, cognac, ice cream, garlic, thyme, bread

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