Saturday, September 8, 2012

German Onion Soup

The thermometer hit 46º in Minneapolis last night, so my mind automatically starts drifting to fall soups. I love French Onion Soup*, but to make it to perfection requires quite a few hours to totally caramelize the onions. Enter German Onion Soup, French Onion Soup's much more speedy and spontaneous cousin. From start of prep to serving, you are looking at roughly 70 minutes (and 40 of that is just simmering).

German Onion Soup is more robust than French Onion Soup. That's because we are going to add in some ingredients that will certainly fire up your taste buds. Bacon, caraway seed, whole-grain mustard, Worcestershire sauce and yes, a whole bottle of your favorite German lager.

And there is one critical element that must be included. Ignore the crostini in the photo. You absolutely must serve each bowl of soup with at least one, piping hot, soft pretzel. Head to the freezer section of your grocery and buy a box or two. They absolutely make the meal and are a must for dunking. This recipe serves six.

1 pound of thick-sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium yellow onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 medium red onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 medium white onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1, 12-ounce bottle German lager beer (domestic beer works in a pinch)
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups beef broth
3 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook bacon on high heat in a Dutch oven until crisp. Put bacon pieces on a paper towel to drain and set aside. Leave bacon drippings in pan.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add onions, garlic and caraway seeds. Cover pan and let ingredients sweat for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook for 40 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in beer and mustard, increase heat to high. Cook soup until beer almost evaporates, stirring often. Stir in flour and mix thoroughly. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add broths and simmer 10 minutes. Add bacon and Worcestershire Sauce to soup. Stir, taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.
  5. Divide among serving bowls and serve with piping hot, soft pretzels.

Pairing: Grab an ice cold bottle of the German lager you used to make the soup.

*For those of you with plenty of time on your hands, here's the recipe for French Onion Soup:

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