In celebration of my dear friend Aimee passing her bac exams and shortly heading off for a 6 week stint in Spain before leaving us to study in Rennes aka bloomin miles away (selfish brainy girl) I am holding a very petite soiree tomorrow evening for the girls.
Being that she is Irish (we can't all be perfect) I am going to attempt to cook a Guinness and Onion Soup with Cheddar Croutons. Now the image above is the perfect scenario however my version may turn out a little more like watery gravy with sinking burnt toasts on top. Watch this space. But for now, here's the recipe courtesy of Michael Chiarello via The Food Network :
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (about 2 large onions)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups Guinness (not Extra Stout)
6 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
Country bread loaf, cut into six 1/2-inch thick slices, then toasted
1/2 lb Irish Cheddar, thinly sliced
Heat the olive oil over high heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until just fragrant. Add the onions, season with salt and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Reduce the heat to medium-low and saute’ the onions for another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are a deep amber colour.
Add the thyme, vinegar and beer. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, then add the beef stock and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 more minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the grill and set out individual oven-proof soup bowls. Discard the bay leaf, then use a ladle to transfer the soup to the individual bowls. Top with toasted bread slices, then 3-4 slices of the cheddar cheese. Grill until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Serve piping hot.