Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stout and Onion Soup

Stout and Onion Soup

This dish is a perfect ‘Southern-Irish’ fusion number, taking the freshest ingredients grown in the Deep South and combining them with the Ulster’s favorite gourmet eats. So, on that note here is my version of a classic French onion soup, but with an Irish twist…

Why should the French have all the great recipes anyway? We all know Guinness is good for you, so combine that with the uniquely sweet and flavorful Georgia onion that is great for your blood and you have got a brilliant combo! If I ever move back to Ulster I will need to find a way to have the famous Georgia Vidalia onions shipped over.

The red Georgia clay can be a chore to produce home grown vegetables but in this case the soil hits a home-run and produces the best onion in the South and some would agree in the world. The wonderful ‘Vidalia’.

My sister had this soup at a restaurant in Ireland and called me up to tell me that I needed to have it in my cook book. I served this soup to my friends as an appetizer in my dinner party last week, and everyone agreed it was the best soup they had ever tasted. The flavor is amazing and the gruyere croutons add to the taste bud explosion. I can safely say this is now my number one favorite soup. Hope you all love it as much as we did.

Stout and Onion soup (made with Georgia Vidalia onions)

1 ½ Lbs Vidalia onions (thinly sliced)
¼ cup (2oz) butter
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
2 ½ cups (1 ¼ pints) chicken stock
2 ½ cups (1 ¼ pints) Beef stock
½ cup Guinness stout
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

(Cheesy Croutons)
6 slices crusty French bread
1 clove garlic (peeled and cut in half)
2 Tbsp butter
½ cup (2oz) Gruyere cheese (grated)


Melt butter in large sauté pan. Add the onions and sugar and cook over medium heat stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium/low and cook the onions slowly for 30 minutes or until they are light brown in color.

Add the flour to onions and cook for 1 minute, stirring with a wooden spoon.

Gradually add the stock and Guinness stout. Bring soup to a boil and the lower temperature allowing simmering for 20-25 minutes. Taste soup and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

To make croutons slice bread and rub with the cut garlic. Brush both sides with melted butter and toast one side on preheated grill. Turn toast over and sprinkle with freshly grated cheese

To serve preheat serving bowls and then fill with soup. Place a slice of the cheese topped toasted bread on top of each bowl. Place bowls under broiler until the cheese melts and bubbles. Serve immediately.