Holy cats, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything! My apologies to you, adoring public.
I must admit that I’ve dropped the ball on this one. I received an overwhelmingly positive response to ‘I, Pooper Stooper‘ and I should have followed up with something equally as strong so as not to lose momentum on the blog. The reality is, though, that I just haven’t had any strong enough opinions about anything in the last month to warrant putting anything interesting up. And the worst part is that I still don’t have anything controversial or even really that interesting to say right now, so I’ve decided to launch into something new. (Don’t despair too hard – there are likely to be more opinion-oriented ramblings coming down the pipe in the not-too-distant future.)
If you know me personally then you likely already know that I really love food. Even if you don’t know me personally you’ve probably figured out that I really love beer. I also really love to pair beer with food. The natural convergence of all of that is, of course, to just combine all of that together and throw the beer right into the food! So with that, I give you a new (semi)regular feature on Impossibrew!: Eat Your Beer.
In light of Valentine’s Day coming up, I feel like an appropriate recipe to share with you would be a dish I first made to serve to my better half as part of an elaborate Valentine’s Day dinner. To start off our romantic meal, I put together a Tripel Onion Soup that came out exactly like I was hoping. It highlighted the complexity and profile of the beer style perfectly, keeping the flavours light and interesting while offering up the luxurious and gooey cheesy awesomeness of the more traditional French onion dish.
I should give some props where they are due. This dish was inspired in no small part by a similar soup once served at the more-than-awesome Lo Pub’s bistro in downtown Winnipeg. When they closed down a couple of years ago, my first thought was “Oh my God, where will I get that soup?” This recipe was an attempt at recreating and resurrecting that dish so my heart wouldn’t be so sad at the loss of such a great establishment.
Impossibrew! Tripel Onion Soup
- 10 cups sweet yellow onions, sliced thinly (about 10 medium onions)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 bottle (about 350ml) Belgian Tripel style ale
- 1 Tbsp course Dijon mustard
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 baguette, sliced diagonally and toasted
- 2 cups Oka cheese, grated
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
- In a large non-stick saucepan, brown the onions in butter until golden and soft, about 30 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Dust mixture with flour and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add the beer and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the broth and again, bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add more broth if necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
- Season with Dijon mustard and additional salt and pepper to taste.
- With oven rack in the middle position, preheat the broiler.
- Ladle soup into 4 ovenproof bowls. Place 1 toast in each brown and top generously with cheese. Place the bowls on a baking sheet, then broil until the cheese bubbles and turns golden brown on top.
- Serve immediately.
In choosing your beer for this recipe, remember that it will be a huge part of the flavour profile of the dish so choose something suitably tasty. Remember – if you woudn’t drink the beer it doesn’t belong in your cooking. When I make this at home I typically use Unibroue La Fin du Monde since it’s delicious, readily available, and inexpensive. Other great traditional tripels that would work well here might be Chimay Tripel, Westmalle Tripel, St. Bernardus Tripel, Tripel Karmeliet, or Val-Dieu Tripel.
For something extra funky, try using Sam Adams’ New World to inject some vanilla notes with its oak-aged goodness, or if you feel like everything in life could use more hops, try Phillips’ Hoperation Tripel Cross to give it a bitter citrus punch.
No matter what beer you use though, make sure you have enough to share with the soup. There’s nothing sadder than a thirsty chef!