Guinness is good for you. I hold this truth to be self evident. I don’t drink a lot of Guinness, but when I’m under the weather, a swift half (or two) will pick me up. Whizz back a few decades to the time when my mother was pregnant with me … her doctor prescribed a small bottle of Guinness each evening, so my taste for the black stuff was inevitable. It was thought to be full of iron which kept pregnant and nursing mothers strong.
Guinness tastes great. I used to hold that truth to be self evident too, but it turns out that I wasn’t completely correct. Outside the British Isles it just isn’t the same drink. The best you can get is bottled, and that has to do in an international emergency. I sometimes have a bottle or two hanging about, and if it’s sat around too long, like any veggies I have lying around, it gets made into soup.
Think of Guinness soup as a bit like French Onion soup, but without the beef. Be warned, it’s not totally veggie. Guinness uses isinglass in its fining processes so there’s likely a trace of fish in your beer, but that’s true for most real beers, particularly stouts. If your local craft brewer makes a stout, check with them how they fine their beer. If you can find a veggie brew, use that.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 large onions
- 1 pint Guinness (2 cups)
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 1/2 cup grated Cheddar
- Slice the onions thinly
- Heat the butter in a thick bottomed soup pan
- Add the onions and cook slowly over a medium-low heat for about 15 minutes until the onions are soft and just starting to caramelize, think taupe rather than brown
- Grate the cheese whilst you wait
- Add Guinness, pause to smell the loveliness
- Add the vinegar (you can use balsamic if you don’t have sherry)
- Add the stock
- Simmer for 10 minutes, allowing the alcohol to steam off
- Pour into bowls and top with grated cheese
- Serve with crusty bread
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