I am finally settling into home after a weekend trip to Seattle where I attended an incredibly inspiring food photography workshop (can you tell?) and visited one of my best friends and her family. She is six months pregnant and needed some down time from her regular life as an attorney.

Her husband, the cook in the family and artsy architect, was eager to share some wine-and the cooking duties. I was thrilled to be in their newly renovated kitchen to cook something seasonal and comforting. Leaving the extended indian summer in California and landing in Seattle was just the inspiration that I needed for one of my favorite fall recipes. Insert kitchen assistant here! Just kidding, but it was awesome to have help with chopping the onions. Thanks E!
This recipe can be made gluten free and vegetarian without sacrificing the flavor. If you love traditional french onion soup, I would top your oven safe bowl with a piece of crusty bread. Then smother with cheese. Pop that in your hot little oven on broil for 3-4 minutes while you sip on the wine you just poured to go with it.

I like to allow the flavors to come together for as long as possible and practical. It’s similar to aging wines to allow the components of the fermentation and the grape to harmonize before bottling. You don’t have to wait tha-at long to eat dinner, but the best comes to those who wait. I will make the soup and allow it to sit for as long as I need -to do just a couple more things around the house. Then I heat it up one last time and sit down with a great glass of wine to enjoy.


5-6 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced in rings
4 C chicken broth
4 C fresh pressed apple cider
4 T butter
5-6 sprigs of Thyme
salt and pepper to taste
shaved gruyere to top


1. Melt butter in large stockpot

2. Add sliced onions and cover. Saute on medium heat until soft, about 15-20 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

3. Add broth, cider and thyme and cover. Bring to simmer and heat for approximately 20- 30 minutes. The longer the thyme is infused, the more flavorful it will become.

4. Season with salt and pepper, remove the thyme sprigs.

5. Shave Gruyere on top and serve.


October in Seattle reminded me of fall as a kid when the warm winds mixed with rainy showers gave life to the decomposing fall foliage (which I happen to think smells amazing! So I guess that’s why I LOVE to use the description ‘mushrooms from under [the forest floor] for wines that possess a unique earthy and spicy aroma). The thyme in this recipe hits similar notes that feel earthy and woodsy.

We enjoyed this recipe with a Vermentino from Italy. The crisp acidity in the wine complemented the slightly sweet soup. We found an inexpensive Vermentino in a local Seattle wine shop that was delightful. I love Vermentino because it has a very rich flavor from the skins, but remains crisp with lots of minerality. Perfect for this soup on an autumn day.


Winemaker's Table

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