Guinness and Onion Soup with Irish Cheddar Crouton

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Guinness and Onion Soup

If you read my post on Friday, then you are well informed of my venture for recipes that will give me a new-found excitement for St. Patty’s Day each year.  This is the second recipe I tried in order to accomplish that goal.

This is basically a french onion soup, but I can’t tell you the specific differences as I have never made french onion soup.  I’ve had it a few times in various restaurants and usually regret my order because of it’s saltiness.  So, when I found this Michael Chiarello recipe for Guinness and Onion Soup, I was very hesitant to give it a try.  But, because the ratings were high and I had such success the other day with another dish that I normally don’t like, I took my chances.

Guinness and Onion Soup3

A friend was over helping us with some handy work, so he ate the soup with us and said he really liked it.  Hopefully it was the truth!  I’m sure it was, though, because both Ben and I loved it and couldn’t wait to have the leftovers again for lunch the next day.

I learned a few tricks for this recipe from reading the posted reviews.  For example, you must use a Guinness Draught and not the Guinness Extra Stout.  It’s also helpful to know that you should pour the beer into a glass and allow to settle for about 1 – 3 minutes before adding it to the pot.  The original recipe also calls for sherry vinegar.  I ended up using red wine vinegar because the sherry is expensive and the rest of it would sit on my shelf, unused.  Other tips and tricks are incorporated into my version of the recipe below.

Guinness and Onion Soup2

Guinness and Onion Soup with Irish Cheddar Crouton

Serving Size: 6

A French Onion soup made with Guinness and topped with Irish Cheddar Crouton.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (about 2 large onions)
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups Guinness (not Extra Stout)
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Country bread loaf, cut into six 1/2-inch thick slices, then toasted
  • 1/2 lb Irish Cheddar, thinly sliced

Heat the olive oil in a 6 quart Dutch oven over high heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until just fragrant. Add the onions, season with salt and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Reduce the heat to medium-low and saute' the onions for another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are a deep amber color.

Add the thyme, vinegar and beer. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, then add the beef stock and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 more minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler and set out individual oven-proof soup bowls. Discard the bay leaf, then use a ladle to transfer the soup to the individual bowls. Top with toasted bread slices, then 3-4 slices of the cheddar cheese. Broil until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Serve piping hot.

Source: Michael Chiarello via The Food Network


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  1. will try this soon,can i prepare this with chicken stock,.

    • One of the reviews stated they used vegetable broth, and I believe some traditional onion soups do use chicken stock. So, I think you’ll be fine. Come back and let us know how it worked out for you! 🙂

  2. That looks fantastic! I’m going to try to make it tomorrow. 🙂

  3. Nikki, this soup looks so delish, and what a great idea for St. Patrick’s Day! Love your creative recipes and lovely photography. Keep up the great work!

  4. This looks fantastic! I haven’t tried making any Irish fare yet..I may have to start!

  5. My mouth was watering reading this onion soup recipe. I am in LOVE with all types of french onion soup and this one looked AMAZING…I definitely want to make this..

  6. I’ve seen this posted on three blogs this week! It sure does look tasty.

  7. Great tip on letting the Guinness settle! I bet that would work with Guinness stews as well…even though St. Patrick’s Day has passed, I’m sure I’ll be trying out this recipe!

  8. My wife sent me this recipe and I found Guinness draught. I wanted to point out that it is still a stout style beer, although a little lighter in body than the other stout beers Guinness brews. Saying not the stout could get confusing. Anyway the recipe sounds really great and I can’t wait to try it after I make it tomorrow!

    • Thanks, Matt! After re-reading the reviews from the original recipe, I believe I meant to say “not EXTRA stout”. Would that make more sense to you? I updated the recipe to reflect this. I’m not too familiar with beer and their different nuances, so I can use the tips! 🙂

      • Yes that does make sense! The differences between draught stout and and Extra Stout isn’t really much. Just more chocolate or black barley malt. Anyway I made this for dinner tonight and it was AMAZING! I will be making this again and again!

  9. Made this for supper tonight, it was DE-LISH! Thanks for the fantastic recipe! Yum!

  10. I found this recipe on Pinterest and I am making it for dinner tonight. Can’t wait to try it.

  11. Want to make this for a St. Patties day party! How many bowls does this recipe make?

  12. I’m thinking about making this for St. Patty’s day this year. Do you think it’ll have the same effect served in the dutch oven and not in individual oven-proof bowls (I don’t have any)?

    • Hi Vanessa. That will be just fine! 🙂 I would just broil the toasted bread and cheese together on a baking sheet, then remove from oven and place in the soup bowls. Enjoy!

  13. This looks great but I am really intrigued to try making an non-alcoholic version. Do you think a mix of diluted non-alcoholic malt (like Tiger let’s say), with burnt sugar for a bitter snap would do the trick?

  14. Hi, Nikki. I had some leftover Guinness from a photoshoot and I found your recipe and tried it. It is soooooo good. You say it’s for 6, I say it’ for 3 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Thanks, Anja! I’m glad you had leftover Guinness to give this soup a try! I have to say… I’m with you that I could probably eat a double portion as a single! 😉

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