This may be the most delicious onion soup you’ve ever tasted. Using the great wheat beer, Blanche d Chambly, brewed by Unibroue (Sleemans), it is best when topped with a a full flavoured, well-aged cheddar like l’Ancêtre, also from Quebec.
• 2 tbsps (30 mL) unsalted butter
• 4 cups(1 L) chopped or thinly sliced cooking onions
• 2 branches fresh thyme
• 2 bay leaves
• 4 cups (1 L) beef stock
• 1 – 12 oz/341 mL bottle Blanche de Chambly or other great locally brewed wheat beer
• Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 12 thin slices crusty baguette, toasted
• 1 ½ cups (375 mL) grated l’Ancêtre cheddar, other very high quality old cheddar or even some small bits of good cheese that you’ve been saving
Melt butter over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot. Add onions, cooking and stirring frequently until beginning to brown, about 10 – 12 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaves, beef stock and Blanche de Chambly. Season lightly with salt; grind in pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer
20 – 25 minutes or until onions are very tender. Remove thyme branches and bay leaves.
Ladle into 4 oven-proof onion soup bowls. Place 3 croutons on each and sprinkle generously with cheese. Broil till bubbling and melted. Carefully transfer to napkin-lined serving plates. Serve immediately.