I like St. Patrick's Day, and I have enough Irish in me that I consider it cause for celebration. In the past, I'd get decked out in green and head out to the bars with my friends. Now I celebrate in more low-key ways, like with food. This weekend, I made a few Irish -- or Irish-inspired -- recipes, so we could have a little Irish feast. And this week, I plan to share all of those recipes with you, so you can incorporate them into your own Irish feast, if you wish.
I came across this recipe for Guinness and onion soup and thought it would be a nice addition to our feast. While the soup was good and very easy to make, it wasn't my favorite onion soup. It has subtle undertones of Guinness, but it doesn't have that complex flavor you traditionally find with French onion soup. Definitely make this for an interesting St. Patrick's Day dish, but don't make it when you crave authentic French onion soup.
I made this with sweet onions, which are those huge white onions (think grapefruit-sized). My math skills have never been great, and estimating how many onions I'd need for 8 cups of thinly sliced onions was no easy feat. I bought 8 onions, and we only needed 3 of them!
Jeff sliced the onions, filling up the measuring cup as he went. He's the official mandoline user in this house. I can't use the thing without slicing a finger, and he has no problem gliding the onions over the blade with ease.
Once the soup was ready, I topped it with toasted slices of country bread and Irish cheddar and popped it under the broiler. I think the best part of onion soup is always that broiled cheese and toast on top.
Guinness And Onion Soup With Irish Cheddar Croutons (adapted from Michael Chiarello and Food Network)
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups thinly sliced onions
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 1/2 cups Guinness
6 cups beef stock
Toasted bread slices and thinly sliced Irish cheddar for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add onions, season with salt, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the thyme, vinegar, and Guinness.
Reduce beer by half, and add the beef stock. Bring to a simmer, and then cook for 10 more minutes.
Preheat the broiler. Transfer soup to individual ovenproof soup bowls.
Top with toasted bread slices and sliced Cheddar. Broil until cheese melts and bubbles. Serve hot.
Are you making anything special for St. Patrick's Day? Got any suggestions for what to do with all those extra onions?