I love onion soup.

I almost don’t even mind the amount of time it takes to make.  Almost.

The key to making a good batch of onion soup is caramelizing the onions – and that takes time.  There are no short-cuts.  It’s just a long, drawn-out cook-and-stir-and-watch-and-stir.

Another key factor is, of course, the onions.  I usually use a combination of sweet and yellow onions.  I like the balance the two types give the soup.  All sweet is – too sweet.  All yellow means I need to add a few tablespoons of sugar.  50-50 is how I like it.

Another consideration is how the onions are sliced.  Slicing the onions in half-moons may look pretty, but they disintegrate.  Slicing the onions pole-to-pole gives the best result.

I’m also a beef-and-onion soup person.  Using beef broth is very traditional.  Putting in cubes of beef is not.  But… I’m not exactly traditional. I don’t always go with the crouton and cheese, either.  Last night I just made a loaf of beer bread to go along with it.

Beef and Onion Soup

  • 1/2 lb butter
  • 4 lbs yellow onions
  • 4 lbs sweet onions
  • 2 lbs beef cubes
  • 4 qts beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Slowly melt butter in large pan.  Add sliced onions and slowly cook until golden brown and caramelized.  This is a process and can easily take an hour or more.

Meanwhile, brown beef cubes in another pan.

When onions are caramelized and looking beautiful, add beef cubes, broth, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and simmer until beef is tender and broth has reduced by about 25%.

Check again for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as desired.

If you like, you may serve it with croutons and gruyère melted on top.

As I mentioned, I made a quick beer bread to go along with the soup.  Fresh bread in an hour.  Gotta love it.

George’s Beer Bread

  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar (raw sugar works best)
  • 12 oz beer

Use a 4″ x 8″ bread pan. Mix and bake at 350° about 1 hour. Top with melted butter before baking.