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Guinness adds a St. Patrick’s Day flourish to onion soup

To get into the spirit of things here at The Culinary Studio, we’ve got a week of fun and food revolving around good ol’ St. Patrick.  First, here’s a little non-food related history: St. Patrick, although not born Irish, spent more than 20 years as a missionary in Ireland converting many Irish to Catholicism. The day’s spirit is to celebrate the universal baptism of Ireland, but now is rather thought of as an Irish Day and to celebrate all things Irish. St. Patrick died on Mar. 17, which is also a great time to celebrate as it marks the return of spring.

Today’s recipe is a sampling of what we’re making this week: a classic soup with an Irish twist in the form of none other than the world-famous Guinness stout.  Always a classic, this soup is based on both the sauté method and the simmering. Don’t underestimate the importance of caramelizing the onions.  That, and a good stock, is what this soup is all about. Dubliner cheese is a sharp, cheddar-like cheese from Ireland.

Guinness Onion Soup
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 cooking onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can Guinness stout
  • 6 cups beef or dark chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 slices toasted or stale bread, preferably rubbed with garlic
  • 1 cup grated Dubliner cheese

 

In a soup pot, melt butter;
Add onions and stir to coat with butter;
Let cook slowly, stirring occasionally until very well caramelized (about 1 hour);
You may cover with a lid occasionally to create steam to ensure that onions do not get too dry;
Add garlic; stir and cook 2 minutes;
Add herbs, beer and stock; simmer 30-45 minutes;
Remove herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper;
Ladle into 6 bowls; top each bowl with bread and cheese;
Broil for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and browned; serve immediately.

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