Beer French Onion Gratinee with Garlic Thyme Croutons

February 16, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

This is a twist on a traditional French Onion Soup using beer instead of wine to bring a robust earthy flavor with the caramelized onions that is built on with the roasted tomato. The soup is finished off with balsalmic vinegar, croutons and cheese. This is a very full-bodied onion soup to be enjoyed with crusty garlic bread and a salad. —TheWimpyVegetarian

What You'll Need
  • Soup
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2/3 cup beer
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (chicken or beef stock can be used also for a more robust flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon balsalmic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
  • Garlic Thyme Croutons (recipe below)
  • Garlic Thyme Croutons
  • 1 small loaf of french bread
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced (or more if you want more garlicky taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (enough to moisten bread pieces)
  1. Soup
  2. Preheat the oven to 275F. Slice the tomato into 1/4" slices. Lay them on a cookie sheet, lightly sprinkle with olive oil, and roast for at least 1 hour until they are no longer loose and moist. They should have a rich tomato paste aroma, but not be completely dried out. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter and oil together in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions. When the onions become soft, sprinkle the sugar over them and continue to slowly cook until they caramelize and are a deep golden brown, about 45 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute. Add the flour and cook until the flour is a golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Stir in the beer and cook most of the moisture is gone. Stir in the stock.
  5. Mash the roasted tomato into a paste with a mortar and pestle and add to the soup. Add the mustard, salt, pepper and thyme. Simmer for 30 minutes while you make the Garlic Thyme Croutons. Finish the soup with the balsalmic vinegar in the last 5 minutes of simmering.
  6. Turn on the broiler. Ladle the soup into the soup bowls. Top with the Garlic Thyme Croutons. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top followed by a generous pile of Gruyere cheese. Place the soup bowls on a thick cookie sheet and place under the broiler until the cheese is golden and bubbling.
  7. Serve and enjoy!!
  1. Garlic Thyme Croutons
  2. Preheat the oven to 400F. Remove the crusts from the bread loaf. Tear the bread into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl with the olive oil, garlic and thyme. Toss with your hands until the bread pieces are coated with the oil, garlic and thyme. Lay out on a baking sheet and bake until lightly crisp (about 15 minutes).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • Mr. T
    Mr. T

2 Reviews

TheWimpyVegetarian February 17, 2010
Thanks so much! And yes, the croutons really add something to this soup. I use this crouton idea for lots of things. Sometimes I tear large chunks of bread from a loaf and use this same recipe and toss them in bowl to be served on the side with lasagna.
Mr. T. February 16, 2010
Deadly. Luscious. Scrumptious. (Love the thyme and garlic croutons! What a nice touch.) Yum. ;o)