December 30, 2010
If you are brave enough to slice up three pounds of this season’s especially pungent onions, this soup will be well worth your tears. A great beginning to any dinner, or enjoyed in a mug, curled on the couch watching really bad tv.
- 3 pounds onions (sliced and segmented)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4-6 cloves of garlic
- 1 generous pinch of salt
- a few good grinds of black peppercorns
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 4-6 cups home-made beef stock
- 2 cups Guinness, or any other dark beer/stout
- 1 baguette
- 1/2 cup EACH of g smoked gouda, mozzarella and parmesan
- Melt together the butter and olive oil in a large stockpot.
- Crush and peel the garlic. You don’t have to mince it; it will caramelize and turn soft and sweet as it cooks. Caramelize the garlic in the olive oil and butter.
- Pour in the onions, season with salt and pepper, and stir around just until the onions are all coated in the olive oil/butter.
- Add in the fresh thyme and the bay leaf and let the onions caramelize, about 20 minutes.
- Once the onions are caramelized and have cooked down, pour in the stock, about 4-6 cups depending on whether you prefer your soup more onion-y or more soup-y.
- Then, pour in the beer and simmer, uncovered, for at least an hour and as much as three hours, tasting occasionally to adjust the flavors.
- Meanwhile, slice down your bread. Stale bread is perfectly okay for this, just heat it up a bit in a warm (250ºF) oven first to soften it. Toast the bread; you can rub both sides with a cut clove of garlic first, if you like. You’ll want 2 pieces of bread per person – one for the bottom of the bowl, and one for on top.
- Grate together about 1/2 cup each of parmesan, gouda, and mozzarella and set it aside.
- Preheat your broiler. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf from the soup.
- Arrange your oven-safe individual serving bowls or coffee mugs on a baking tray with a thin lip.
- TO SERVE: drop a toast slice in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle in the soup and cover with a second slice of toast. Then cover the toast with cheese. Be generous! You want the cheese to seal in the soup and drape over the edge of the bowl.
- Broil for a few minutes, until the cheese is brown and bubbling on top. Garnish with a little fresh thyme, and serve.
Original recipe can be found here.