Beer and onion soup

Paul Merrett's recipe is a very British take on French onion soup, served with homemade toasted beer bread and melted cheddar
By Paul Merrett
Beer and onion soup
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the beer bread

  • 453 g stone-ground wholemeal flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp clear honey
  • 350 ml beer

For the soup

  • 50 g butter
  • 1 kg onions, finely sliced into rings
  • 400 ml beer
  • 400 ml strong beef stock

To serve

  • 4 tbsp grated cheddar


1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3.

2. For the beer bread: mix the flour, baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt together in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the honey and most of the beer. Stir until the mixture comes together to form a wet dough (you may not need all of the beer).

3. Scrape the dough into a 23cm x 13/14cm loaf tin and smooth the top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden-brown and risen. To check if the bread is cooked through, tap the bottom of the loaf ' it should sound hollow.

4. For the onion soup: heat a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat and add the butter. When melted and foaming, add the onions and reduce the heat to low. Slowly cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the onions caramelised and turn a deep golden-brown.

5. Pour in the beer and beef stock and simmer for a further 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

6. To serve, slice the beer bread and sprinkle over the grated cheddar. Place under a hot grill until the cheese is golden-brown and bubbling. Serve on top of the onion soup in a bowl.

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