Stout French Onion Soup

Stout French Onion Soup 6

French Onion Soup was Julia Child’s last meal. Seems fitting for a woman known for French classics. And who wants to mess with a classic dish that America’s Culinary Grandma chose as her last meal?

Me. That’s who.

Stout French Onion Soup 4

Although I do like to stick to classic methods when it comes to cooking this warm bowl of cheese-topped-comfort, the addition of a malty stout gives a new dimension and depth of flavor. While most French Onion Soup recipes all have nearly the same ingredients, the results vary widely depending on how you treat the onions, the star ingredient.

Stout French Onion Soup 7

Stick with sweet onions when making this dish, the higher sugar content gives you a better caramelization. Cook them for a long time. Then cook them longer.

Caramelized onions will actually give off a “beefy” flavor when cooked slow and low for an extended period of time. This is one of the major key factors in bringing a soup from “good” to “great”.

Although I’m sure Julia would have wanted to throw a copy of The Way To Cook at my head for putting beer in her soup, I’ll just have to make peace with that. I love a beerified soup.

Stout French Onion Soup_


Stout French Onion Soup

Yield: 4 servings


  • 6 tbs butter
  • 2 lb sweet white onion, sliced into ¼ inch rings
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups stout, divided
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • ½ tsp fresh cracker black pepper
  • 4 slices French bread, toasted
  • 8 ounces shredded or sliced Gruyère cheese (about 2 1/2 cups)


  1. In a large pot over medium high heat melt the butter. Add the onions, brown sugar and salt, allow to simmer over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are a dark golden brown, at least 30 minutes and up to one hour (the longer onions cook the more flavor develops).
  2. Add ½ cup stout beer, simmer until the beer is reduced and the pan is almost dry.
  3. Add the remaining beer, beef stock and black pepper. Simmer for ten minutes.
  4. Pre heat the broiler on your oven.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls, top with slices of French bread toast and then cheese.
  6. Broil until the cheese has melted.
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34 thoughts on “Stout French Onion Soup

  1. I LOVE this recipe. For starters, I have been looking for a French Onion Soup recipe to make this fall. Secondly, I love stout beer and this recipe will give me a great excuse to try a few varieties for the perfect fit. Thanks!!!

  2. I love it when people take classic recipes and twist them around like this. Looks great and I love stouts so I think I’ll be giving this a whirl. Thanks!

  3. Made this tonight. Oh my goodness! It is absolutely the BEST French onion soup I have ever eaten!!!
    I highly recommend it.

    One question though, How did you get the cheese to completely cover the top like in the pictures above? I had to slice the cheese because I could only find a triangle shaped piece and it didn’t cover completely after melting under the broiler.

  4. ohmigod this sounds fabulous and i cant wait to make it, especially since french onion is one of my all time favorite soups..

  5. This was the rock star in last night’s “Cooking with Beer” lesson for a mid-20s niece. That’s saying a lot since the 2nd favorite recipe was your New Orleans BBQ Beer Shrimp!!

  6. I made this tonight and was disappointed. Mine turned out to be very bitter… So much so that I couldn’t finish it. Trying to figure out what I did differently/wrong, since the other commenters seemed to like it.

    1. Did the onions burn? That can cause bitterness. Also, sugar is used to balance bitterness, so if you left that out, that might be it. What beer did you use? That can make a difference.

  7. I am really impressed with this soup! It came out beautifully with so much flavor, and just a hint of the stout. The perfect beer soup!

  8. Making this tonight with a smoked porter and another twist. Im gonna strain the liquid off, add arborio to the onions then add the liquid back to turn it into a beery french onion ristto 🙂

  9. Hi there,

    I was hoping someone could give me the yield (volume) for this recipe. I’d like to enlarge it without having to make it as a test run, and I like to know exactly what I should get out of it.


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