Welcome to Friday Feast in the Tavern!
As most of you know, cooking and baking are wonderful stress relievers after a long day of sitting in my writer’s cave. And the heatwave has definitely broken here in my part of the state. Since I love to be in the kitchen, you’ll find me adding a scene about food in all my stories—from feasts to light fare traveling on horseback.
We are soup lovers in my family. Serve a bowl of soup with a garden salad or warm sourdough bread, and you have a perfect meal. I also make refreshing, cold soups during the summer months. I’m always creating new and different versions, since I’m a firm believer in tweaking a recipe to accommodate our tastes. This particular soup is wonderful on a cold, dreary day. It’s hearty and filling. The stout beer makes the soup have an intense, deep flavor. However, for a lighter taste, I’ve substituted pale ale for the stout. Also, if you’re not fond of spicy heat, then omit the red pepper flakes.
In Dragon Knight’s Ring, the hero, Adam MacFhearguis, had a fondest for the modern Irish stout, so I believe he would have enjoyed this soup.
And with the Autumn Equinox in a few days, this recipe (and a pint) is perfect to celebrate a new season.
BEER, ONION, AND CHEDDAR SOUP
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large yellow onions (quartered and sliced)
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
Leaves from 3 thyme sprigs
1-cup Irish stout beer
4 cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1-tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Melt the butter with the oil in a heavy saucepan, add the onions, garlic, herbs, and red pepper flakes, if using. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over a low heat for 40 minutes until the onions are translucent.
Stir in the Irish stout beer, vegetable stock, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with cheddar cheese. Serve with warm sourdough bread.