Beer-onion soup – take 1

Posted: February 2, 2012 in Food, Soups, Vegetarian

This is an attempt in a variation of the traditional French onion soup which came out tasty, but with a few things which need improvement – so I’ll have to try it again later. I’ve been with a cold lately, and my doctor said that soups would be a good thing to have. Mostly I wanted to have something light for dinner after a heavy lunch, so an onion soup seemed like a good idea.

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Getting home I realized that it wouldn’t be a smooth ride. I only had one (medium) onion, and I’d need at least two of them – next time I’ll definitely use more. I also didn’t have any wine leftovers, and since I’m taking some medication for the cold and can’t drink alcohol, I didn’t want to open a full bottle to use only 1/2 cup, so I decided to use beer instead (as I had already tried, and liked, a Guiness stout onion soup in one of my favorite pubs), so I used a local lager, with good results. I also tried to cut corners and use a simple toasted sliced bread, but it wasn’t dry enough and ended up quite soggy, but next time I’ll try to get some hard bread or day-old baguette. Finally, I only had some Colby-Jack cheese so that’s what I used, but some harder cheese will probably be better. In the end, the soup itself was good, but we ended up scooping the bread out of the bowl and discarding it.

Ingredients (for 2 people):

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (the best amount would be 1 small / medium onion per person
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 12-oz. bottle of beer (I used a lager; a darker one would work too – lighter beers probably won’t work as well)
  • 2 toasted slices of bread (as I mentioned, it didn’t work well – I’ll try it again with either store-bought croutons or a harder bread)
  • 2 slices of Colby-jack cheese
  • Parsley for decoration

Melt the butter in a medium pan and add the onion, salt and pepper, cooking for about 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly, until the onions are browned. Add the stock and the beer and scrape off the pan, and mix it well again, cooking for another 10 minutes over medium heat.

Transfer the soup to oven-safe bowls, top it with the bread, then the cheese, and add them to an oven pre-heated to 400ºF (200ºC). I find that placing the bowls in an oven tray helps getting them out easier. Bake it for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted; if you have a broiler you can also use it to speed up the baking (in ~3-5 minutes the cheese should be good).

Top with a small parsley sprig and enjoy!


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