Well at least that is what Tom Gabel says.
I have never made french onion soup in my life. My mother made it a few times when I was in high school but back then I didn't have a great palate so I wasn't a fan. I saw this recipe which included Guinness and just had to try it. The only catch was that I didn't want to use beef broth but isn't that what make french onion soup so good? That rich broth? Not when you add Guinness it isn't.
My husbands exact words were, "If they served this at The Cup then I'd get it every time." (The Cup is the Liberal Cup which is our regular spot in Hallowell, Maine) The broth was fantastic, I used homemade country bread that I had made a day earlier, and I used aged Irish cheddar cheese. I actually made the soup a day before we had it and it was better after sitting for a day. The flavors all intermingled...as Catie would say, "Deliciousoso."
Guinness and Onion Soup
Adapted from Food Network's Michael Chiarello (saw this on Lime in the Coconut blog)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 cloves minced garlic
8 cups thinly sliced onions
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 1/2 cups dark beer (recommended: Guinness)
6 cups beef stock (I used veggie broth)
6 slices country bread cut 1/2-inch thick, toasted
1/2 pound Irish Cheddar, sliced thin
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and cook briefly to release aroma. Add onions, season with salt and cook for about 5 minutes stirring often. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are golden brown.
Add the thyme, vinegar, and beer. Reduce beer by half and add the beef stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes.
Preheat the broiler. Transfer soup to an ovenproof serving dish or individual ovenproof soup bowls. Top with toasted bread slices and sliced Cheddar. Broil until cheese melts and starts to brown slightly. Serve piping hot.