I've made a similar soup before, using Guinness as the base and I thought it was really great. When asked to bring a soup to work for a group luncheon, I thought of making the Irish Onion Soup again, but wanted to try something new. I turned to Ina Garten who always has fantastic recipes. I used her recipe as my inspiration but added a few extra ingredients like fresh thyme which I thought added a nice herbal element.
You will also need to gather:
1/4 pound unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups good dry white wine
8 cups beef stock
1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Freshly grated Gruyere
Baguette, sliced on the diagonal ¼-inch thick
n a large stockpot on medium-high heat, saute the onions with the butter and bay leaf for 20 minutes, until the onions turn a rich golden brown color. You cannot rush this step! After an initial sweat of the onions, I turn the heat down to low and let it cook, stirring occasionally until the color is dark like this.
After 20-30 minutes, add 1/2 cup of the brandy and 1/2 cup of the sherry. I add these separately and let the onions cook in the liquid for five minutes before adding the next ingredient. These liquors will deglaze the pan and the onions will absorb all the flavors. Yum!
Add the white wine plus the thyme and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
It's the cheesy toast that makes this soup for me. The flavors are deep and rich due to the caramelized sweetness of the onions. Be sure to use a good white wine and quality beef stock. This is an easy recipe folks, and oh so good on a cold evening.