All too soon The Ruby Jane Show wrapped up with a final number, the applause faded, and the crowd trailed slowly out into the street. Later we learned that Gruene Hall is the oldest dance hall in Texas. And that Ruby Jane is only fifteen years old. Fitting factual bookends to nestle around a great Texas memory.
* * * *As I write this three days later, the heat has broken and the temperature is an unseasonably low 60-something degrees. The promise of fall has arrived, if only briefly, and I’m thinking onion soup would be just about right for lunch. But not the standard-issue, chewy-cheese, watery-thin-beef-bullion-based onion soup of restaurant visits past. Rather, a velvety rich concoction, with gruyere softly strung on tender shreds of sweet onion in a golden rich broth. I told you the chicken stock would come in handy some day.
Onion Soup (for two)
3 cups rotisserie chicken stock (give or take)
1 or 2 Vidalia onions, coarse grated (or whatever sweet yellow onion you might have)
2 Tbs butter (1 Tbs for sauteeing, 1 Tbs for roux)
1 Tbs flour
¼ cup Marsala (You have no Marsala? Well then, a light red wine if you must ... or Vin Santo)
½ to 1 cup coarse grated gruyere cheese (I tend to go heavy on the cheese)
Toasted bread or croutons
Whisk 1 cup of chicken stock into the roux and cook until thickened.
Pour the remaining chicken stock into the onions; add the roux and a healthy splash of Marsala.
Put toasted bread or croutons in the bottom of two soup bowls and top with grated Gruyere.