This St. Patrick’s Day, give your onion soup a little Irish twist with the addition of Guinness and Irish Cheddar cheese. A bottle of Guinness is added to a beef broth based soup with caramelized onions. It is topped with a slice of bread and thinly sliced Irish cheddar cheese, then broiled until bubbly.
To make this vegetarian, use mushroom stock instead of beef stock. Season with salt as needed depending on the amount in the stock.
I just placed the plain slice of bread on top of the soup before covering with cheese. You can also toast the bread first to make a large crouton.
Be sure to use Guinness Draught, not extra stout. Pour it into a glass first and allow to settle 1-3 minutes before adding to the pot.
Be careful if serving this to little ones. The bowls will be very hot after coming out from under the broiler.
Depending on your onions, it may take a little longer for them to caramelize. Pay less attention to the time posted and more to the color of the onions. They should be a deep golden/amber.
I have been able to find Irish cheddar in the specialty cheese section of most larger grocery stores. I used Kerrygold.
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (~2 large)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 1/2 cups Guinness Draught
6 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
6 (1/2 inch thick) country bread slices
8 ounces thinly sliced Irish Cheddar
In a large pot, drizzle oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook until just fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in the onions and season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until softened. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook until onions become deep golden, 15-20 minutes.
Stir in the thyme, vinegar, and Guinness. Cook until the Guinness reduces by half. Add the beef stock and bay leaf. Once simmering, allow to cook for another 20 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf before dividing among 6 broiler safe bowls. Top each with a slice of bread, then the cheese. Place under broiler until the cheese has melted and is bubbly. Serve immediately.