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5 recipes improved by beer

By: Enrique Gili on Nov. 1, 2013, 3 p.m.
french onion soup

Photo: AS Food Studio/Shutterstock

2 of 7

French Onion Soup with Toasted Bread

The secret to good onion soup is stacking flavors into a harmonious whole, cooking each element as you go. Beer and cheese also helps.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

Yield: 4 to 6

French Onion Soup with Toasted Bread


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 yellow onions, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 sprigs thyme, chopped fine, plus extra sprigs for optional garnish
  • 28 ounces vegetable broth
  • 12 ounces pale beer, lager or pilsner
  • 1 teaspoon cooking sherry
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 baguette, sliced thin
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, Gruyere, cheddar, parmesan
Cooking directions
  1. Combine butter and olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Heat until butter foams, about 2 minutes. Add onions and shallot. Saute until onions are tender and translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add flour, brown sugar, vinegar and thyme. Stir until ingredients begin to bubble, about 4 minutes. Add sherry, salt, pepper and paprika. Add broth and beer. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat and cover. Allow soup to simmer.
  3. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut baguette into thin wedges, place on baking sheet and toast. Remove from oven when crisp, about 6 minutes. Place half the slices in the bottom of oven-safe bowls and add soup. Top with more bread and shredded cheese. Set oven to broil. Place bowls on a baking dish and place in oven about 3 minutes. Remove when cheese turns golden brown.