Onion soup is a surefire hit on anyone’s winter menu. Instead of using only yellow onions, this soup uses three — yellow, red, and shallots—adds Guinness to flavor the broth, and tops it with hearty, thick-cut croutons with melted blue cheese—Cashel Blue preferred! You can make the croutons ahead of time and store in an airtight container.
GUINNESS ONION SOUP WITH BLUE CHEESE CROUTONS
- 2 tablespoons. unsalted butter
- 3 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced
- 2 large red onions, peeled and sliced
- 4 shallots, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 3 cups homemade beef stock or canned low-sodium beef broth
- 1 cup Guinness
- Salt and ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 pound loaf sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup crumbled Cashel Blue cheese
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
- Make soup. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions, shallots, and garlic and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until soft but not browned. Add bay leaves, basil, thyme, brown sugar, stock or broth, and Guinness. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until onions are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
- Make croutons. Preheat oven to 425º F. Put bread cubes in a large bowl and toss with olive oil. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove from oven.
- Preheat broiler. Arrange eight flameproof crocks on a baking sheet. Ladle soup into crocks and top with croutons; sprinkle with blue cheese. Place under broiler 4 inches from heat source and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until cheese melts and browns. Remove from oven and sprinkle with parsley and chives. Using oven mitts to protect your hands, place a crock in center of a serving plate and serve immediately.
Margaret M. Johnson’s “Favorite Flavors of Ireland” is a “labor of love and tribute to her thirty years of travel there. It offers more than 100 best-loved recipes from her previous ten cookbooks and celebrates the special flavors of each Irish season: Spring/An t-Earrach, Summer/An Samhradh, Autum/An Fómhar, Winter/An Geimhreadh.” For ordering details, visit www.irishcook.com.