Five Spiked Soups
Recipe courtesy Fabienne Eymard, chef, Pinch American Grill, Yonkers, New York
Beer is king at this Ducasse Studio American Grill, located inside the Empire Casino. There are 100 local craft beers to sip, along with six tabletop taps and a growler-filling station, so it’s no surprise that a brew makes an appearance in the restaurant’s popular Gratinéed Onion Soup.
“Spiking this flavorful soup with a nutty beer such as Ithaca Nut Brown Ale adds an additional layer and depth of flavor, providing a great level of comfort to this dish ideally enjoyed during the wintertime,” says certified Cicerone James Tai, who runs the beer program at Pinch.
2 pounds Spanish onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces butter
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 head garlic
5 cups beef broth
1 cup brown beer, such as Ithaca Nut Brown Ale
4 cups shredded Swiss and Gruyère cheese
Peel and julienne the onions. Sauté in a large pot over medium heat with olive oil, butter, salt and pepper.
Cut the garlic head in half and add to the pot. Reduce heat to low, and cook until the onions are caramelized and soft.
In another pot, bring the broth to a boil, then pour on top of the onions. Keep cooking at a low temperature for one hour. Preheat an oven to 500˚F.
Add the beer to the broth mixture and taste Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if desired. Slice the baguette into 1-inch croutons.
Pour the soup into individual oven-proof soup bowls, top with one layer of bread and add the shredded cheese on top. Place the soup bowls inside the oven until the cheese is melted, brown and crispy. Serves 4.
The Pour: Cicerone James Tai is the beer program manager at Pinch, and his preferred beer pairing is the Ithaca Nut Brown Ale. “The caramel notes in the beer pair well with the sweetness the onions pull out from the soup,” says Tai. “The beer’s nuttiness aligns nicely with the nutty flavors derived from the Gruyère.”