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.
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 Soup with Irish Cheddar Crouton
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic , minced
- 8 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (about 2 large onions)
- 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