It’s been unseasonably cold this time of year. We didn’t make soup for fun… we desperately needed it. Something warm to soothe our souls and help us to bundle up (something we have to do often with a labrador retriever who loves the rain). The French Oven came out, we tossed in some onions, and let them simmer away, while The Good Dinosaur played on Hulu all along. Then my fiancé casually threw together a pot roast to go alongside the soup. And then I casually threw together some soda bread. The soda bread was thick and able to withstand the soup without getting too soggy. The meal was warm, soothing, and satisfying, and filled us to the brim. To put it simply, this soup is dreamy, and one of my new favorites. We had a ton of leftovers, which I’ve been eating for days and loving every second of it.
Irish Onion Soup
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 sweet Vidalia onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
12 oz (1 ½ cups) stout or red ale
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef broth
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp dried thyme
⅛ tsp ground black pepper
Salt to taste
4 pieces Irish soda bread
2 cups sharp white cheddar, grated
- Caramelize the onions. In a large stock pot, heat the butter over medium heat until it is sizzling. Add the garlic and brown sugar and gently brown. Then, add a large handful of the onions and cook for 1-2 minutes while stirring until the onions are soft. Continue adding onions in stages and cooking until all of onions are cooked down. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook onions while stirring occasionally until they are deep golden brown in color, for approximately 45-60 minutes.
- Deglaze with beer and thicken with flour. Once the onions have caramelized, add ½ cup of beer and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat until the beer has evaporated. Then, sprinkle the onions with flour and cook until the flour forms a thick paste and the raw flour flavor has cooked out, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the stock, remaining beer, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, thyme, black pepper, and salt. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes until it has cooked down.
- Place soda bread slices on a baking sheet, top with sharp grated white cheddar cheese, and broil at 525°F for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned.
- Ladle soup into bowls, and top with 2 slices of cheesy soda bread. Sprinkle any remaining grated cheddar cheese over the top. Enjoy!