Max’s British Beer and Onion Soup
In Autumn home grown onions are at their best down at your local ASDA. Cheap and delicious, they can be transformed into a warming soul food that celebrates the best of seasonal British produce on a budget.
750g onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sunflower or rapeseed oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp sugar
1 litre beef stock made from 2 organic beef stock cubes or 3 level tsp Bovril
330ml pale ale or stout
White wine or malt vinegar (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
225g grated mature cheddar
For the croutons:
3 slices of a country loaf, quartered - no baguettes!
2 tablespoon sunflower or rapeseed oil
2 crushed cloves of garlic
You will also need a large heavy-based saucepan
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
To make the croutons pour 2 tablespoons of oil over a baking-sheet, add the crushed garlic and mix together well. Turn the bread slices in the garlicky oil then bake them in the oven for 20 minutes until they’re crisp and brown.
Put a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over a moderate heat add the oil and then the butter. Tip in the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the edges of the onions have turned dark brown. Add the garlic and sugar, stir and cook for another couple of minutes then turn the heat right down and leave the onions to cook for another half hour or so until they’re all brown and sticky.
Pour in the stock and make sure you loosen all the stuck on oniony goo at the base of the pan well which is where all the flavour lies. Add the beer and bring up to the boil, thenturn the heat right down and simmer the soup slowly without a lid, for about an hour, checking it occasionally. (Go chill out and have a beer.)
Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste and maybe a splash of malt vinegar or wine vinegar just to sharpen it up.
Heat the grill to its highest setting. Ladle the soup into warm ovenproof bowls and lay a layer of croutons on the top. Sprinkle the grated Cheddar thickly over the croutons and place the bowls in a grill pan or roasting tin. Put the bowls under the grill until the cheese is bubbling. Warn your mates it will be super hot!
Max is a member of ASDA's PR team.