French Onion Soup (made with beer)


I first shared this recipe years ago, along with some pretty horrendous photos. I love the recipe, so I thought it was time to return to it, update it, and give it some better images. This is a twist on classic French Onion Soup that adds a bit of beer. Of course, the best part about French Onion Soup is that it gets served with a chunk of cheesy toasted bread on top, and it goes so well with the slight beer flavor and the caramelized onions in the soup.


I love the way that the bread on top soaks up the soup, and the browned cheese on top is such a treat. It just what I want to eat on a cold winter day.


French Onion Soup is simple to make, but it does require patience to achieve caramelized onions. In order to make the recipe my own, I decided to add a Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’. Literally. Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale is one of my favorite beers, and I thought that the flavor of this pale ale would compliment the caramelized onions nicely. This soup was so good, we ate the entire pot. The beer added a nice rich flavor to the soup. It didn’t distinctly taste like beer, even people who don’t love beer would enjoy this meal.
A note on Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale: I chose this beer for its full flavor, its crisp taste, its wheaty-ness, and a mild hoppy finish. Pick something that will add flavor to your soup. An amber ale would be a nice option too.
This soup is really easy to prepare. If you can chop and stir, you are all set. Just make sure to slowly cook the onions so they will reach a nice golden tone. Be careful not to overcook the onions or they will become bitter – keep a watchful eye over them and stir frequently to prevent browned (and potential burnt) bits of onions getting out of control on the bottom of the pot.
Little Sumpin’ French Onion Soup (with beer)

Yields 2-3

1 hrPrep Time

1 hrTotal Time

Save Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Large White Onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 cup Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale (or similar)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 (32 oz) carton of Beef Broth
  • 2 slices of fresh Bread, 1 inch thick
  • Gruyere Cheese


  1. Peel and slice the onions into half circle slices about 1/8 inch thick.
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter. Once the butter has melted, add the onions, salt, and pepper. Stir together to evenly distribute the olive oil and butter. Cover and keep on medium low heat.
  3. After about 5 minutes, the onions will be soft. Use a garlic press to crush the garlic, and stir it into the pot with the onions. Add the bay leaf.
  4. Once the onions are beginning to darken, remove the bay leaf and add the beer. Increase the heat to medium. Let the onions simmer and reduce in the beer. Stir often. Be patient. It will take about 20-30 minutes before the onions reach a deep golden brown. If there are spots where the onions start to stick to the pan and threaten to burn, add a little beef broth and stir.
  5. Once the onions are a nice deep golden brown, add the beef broth. Increase the heat to high and let the soup reduce for 10 minutes.
  6. Slice the bread so that it will fit inside the soup bowls. I buttered each side of the slices of bread, and then I toasted the bread on a grill pan. This step is optional.
  7. Pour the soup into oven-safe soup bowls. Then place the bread on top. Cover the bread with a generous amount of cheese.
  8. Place an oven rack in the upper part of your oven. Then place the soup bowls on a baking sheet. Turn your broiler on low. Watch carefully, you want the cheese to melt and brown slightly. Once this happens, remove from the oven and serve immediately.

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  • Sounds awesome! I love french onion soup!


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