Stout French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup was Julia Child’s last meal. Seems fitting for a woman known for French classics. And who wants to mess with a classic dish that America’s Culinary Grandma chose as her last meal?
Me. That’s who.
Although I do like to stick to classic methods when it comes to cooking this warm bowl of cheese-topped-comfort, the addition of a malty stout gives a new dimension and depth of flavor. While most French Onion Soup recipes all have nearly the same ingredients, the results vary widely depending on how you treat the onions, the star ingredient.
Stick with sweet onions when making this dish, the higher sugar content gives you a better caramelization. Cook them for a long time. Then cook them longer.
Caramelized onions will actually give off a "beefy" flavor when cooked slow and low for an extended period of time. This is one of the major key factors in bringing a soup from "good" to "great".
Although I’m sure Julia would have wanted to throw a copy of The Way To Cook at my head for putting beer in her soup, I’ll just have to make peace with that. I love a beerified soup.
Stout French Onion Soup
- 6 tbs butter
- 2 lb sweet white onion sliced into ¼ inch rings
- 1 tbs brown sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups stout divided
- 2 cups beef stock
- ½ tsp fresh cracker black pepper
- 4 slices French bread toasted
- 8 ounces shredded or sliced Gruyère cheese about 2 1/2 cups
- In a large pot over medium high heat melt the butter. Add the onions, brown sugar and salt, allow to simmer over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are a dark golden brown, at least 30 minutes and up to one hour (the longer onions cook the more flavor develops).
- Add ½ cup stout beer, simmer until the beer is reduced and the pan is almost dry.
- Add the remaining beer, beef stock and black pepper. Simmer for ten minutes.
- Pre heat the broiler on your oven.
- Ladle soup into bowls, top with slices of French bread toast and then cheese.
- Broil until the cheese has melted.
Sarah | The Sugar Hit November 5, 2013 um 1:47 am
Cheese, beer and onions? Yes ma’am.
Jess November 6, 2013 um 5:31 pm
^ I second that!
Tieghan November 5, 2013 um 5:09 am
Oh yeah, this is my kind of french onion soup! Gosh, I bet it is SO good!
[email protected] NY Foodgasm November 5, 2013 um 6:31 am
YUP I will make this, but probably use light butter, YUMMMM!
Mediterranean Baby November 5, 2013 um 9:13 pm
I LOVE this recipe. For starters, I have been looking for a French Onion Soup recipe to make this fall. Secondly, I love stout beer and this recipe will give me a great excuse to try a few varieties for the perfect fit. Thanks!!!
Chris @ Knead for Food November 6, 2013 um 1:06 pm
I love it when people take classic recipes and twist them around like this. Looks great and I love stouts so I think I’ll be giving this a whirl. Thanks!
sowmya November 6, 2013 um 1:54 pm
Wow beer in a soup.. that was clever.. Looks delicious.. beautiful clicks
Marni | Love and Duck Fat November 6, 2013 um 6:53 pm
This looks really, really yum. I love the bowls too. Bravo!
Vira November 7, 2013 um 1:37 am
Yummy.I will Try For sure.Very nice info using Onion
Alyssa November 7, 2013 um 6:24 pm
Mmmm…I’m going to try this tonight with some of my homebrewed smoked stout. I’m very, very excited.
Amy November 10, 2013 um 1:47 pm
Made this tonight. Oh my goodness! It is absolutely the BEST French onion soup I have ever eaten!!!
I highly recommend it.
One question though, How did you get the cheese to completely cover the top like in the pictures above? I had to slice the cheese because I could only find a triangle shaped piece and it didn’t cover completely after melting under the broiler.
Jackie November 10, 2013 um 2:09 pm
thank you so much! I’m glad you liked it. I used three pieces of sliced cheese for each. Lotta cheese 🙂
megwyn November 11, 2013 um 12:55 pm
ohmigod this sounds fabulous and i cant wait to make it, especially since french onion is one of my all time favorite soups..
SeattleDee November 12, 2013 um 1:00 pm
This was the rock star in last night’s "Cooking with Beer" lesson for a mid-20s niece. That’s saying a lot since the 2nd favorite recipe was your New Orleans BBQ Beer Shrimp!!
Jackie November 12, 2013 um 2:07 pm
Thank you so much!! Glad you liked it 🙂
SeattleDee November 27, 2013 um 4:06 pm
Sadly, the flavors changed overnight and seemed muddled instead of sweetly oniony and beefy. That’s what I get for not enjoying a second helping right away!
Canal Cook November 12, 2013 um 5:09 pm
Stout and onion soup sounds perfect. It must make it nice and rich, a good substitute for wine.
Julia November 14, 2013 um 3:51 pm
I have this cooking on the stove now. Looks super yummy!
louise brown November 16, 2013 um 2:04 am
THIS IS THE BEST SOUP I’VE EVER MADE!
Tyson brown November 20, 2013 um 5:52 am
I’m going to make this all the time! It’s the best soup I’ve ever made, thank you so much!
James Devere November 24, 2013 um 6:36 pm
I made this tonight and was disappointed. Mine turned out to be very bitter… So much so that I couldn’t finish it. Trying to figure out what I did differently/wrong, since the other commenters seemed to like it.
Jackie November 24, 2013 um 6:48 pm
Did the onions burn? That can cause bitterness. Also, sugar is used to balance bitterness, so if you left that out, that might be it. What beer did you use? That can make a difference.
donna November 27, 2013 um 9:37 am
I am really impressed with this soup! It came out beautifully with so much flavor, and just a hint of the stout. The perfect beer soup!
mariochnaydar December 16, 2013 um 10:10 am
I’m going to make this all the time! It’s the best soup I’ve ever made, thank you so much
Marni | Love and Duck Fat February 4, 2014 um 7:34 am
Looks amazing…I’m so making this for St. Patrick’s Day.
Joanie Dorsey March 9, 2014 um 8:45 pm
Just made this tonight. FANTASTIC! It is perfection.
Crafty Bear June 16, 2015 um 11:08 am
Making this tonight with a smoked porter and another twist. Im gonna strain the liquid off, add arborio to the onions then add the liquid back to turn it into a beery french onion ristto 🙂
Jacob January 8, 2016 um 11:28 am
I was hoping someone could give me the yield (volume) for this recipe. I’d like to enlarge it without having to make it as a test run, and I like to know exactly what I should get out of it.
Jackie January 8, 2016 um 12:11 pm
I’m not sure exactly, about 5-6 cups. Hope that helps!
john kemper May 25, 2019 um 4:47 pm
I made it and it was fantastic, light beer ???