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Onion and Ale Soup

This flavor packed onion and ale soup is the perfect cold-weather soup. Full of sweet onions and just a touch of Irish stout beer. 

Onion and Ale Soup by Nutmeg Nanny

You know those nights where you don’t feel like cooking, don’t want fast food and don’t really want diner food?  Well when those nights hit our household we usually head down to our local pub.  It’s a comfortable place where we can drink beer and have delicious food.  The only issue I have is that I always order the same thing.  I know, it’s my problem. But I’m one of “those” people. You know the ones.  The people who always order the same thing at the restaurant for fear the new thing they order may not be as delicious as the meal they always order.  Is there anyone else out there that has this problem? It’s ok. You can admit it 🙂

So as I waited for my chili (which is what I always order) I noticed they had something delicious sounding on the menu.  Onion and Ale soup.  “Yum” I thought to myself.  I took a look at the description and immediately knew that I could make this soup at home.  So guess what? I did 🙂  Now I’m sharing this delicious soup with all of you.  It’s chock full of onions, Irish beer and delicious beef flavor.  It’s similar to French Onion but the Irish beer adds a whole different flavor.  I also used this soup as an opportunity to use the Bavarian beer vinegar my Dad picked up for me. It worked lovely.  It added a nice beer flavor to the already stout packed soup. So if you like onions and beer I would say this soup is for you! 🙂

Onion and Ale Soup by Nutmeg Nanny


Onion and Ale Soup

Onion and Ale Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 medium-sized yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 3 medium-sized red onions, sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (16 ounce) can Irish stout beer
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup Irish cheddar, shredded


  1. Add olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. If you keep your heat low you can cook for longer to extract more an even more sweet flavor from the onions. You do not want to brown your onions.
  5. Add the beer and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the thyme and vinegar and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes. Until the mixture is reduced by half.
  7. Add the beef stock and simmer until warm and all the flavors have combined - approximately 10 minutes.
  8. Preheat the broiler.
  9. Put soup in an ovenproof bowl and top with cheese. Broil until cheese melts and starts to brown.

Did you make this recipe?

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A Canadian Foodie

Saturday 12th of March 2011

Believe it or not - I also have an onion and ale soup I made and have just finished defrosting the leftovers. Thank you for reminding me. I am going to get it now and have some. DIdn't this very same thing happen another day on a post with you? It must be serendipity! I haven't posted for 3 weeks - deep in the throws of planning a local slow food event. Great work. Time well spent, but missing my hobby site, my kitchen, cooking and reading your wonderful posts! I hope to catch up soon! :) Valerie

Renee (Kudos Kitchen)

Thursday 10th of March 2011

This dish sounds wonderful! My stomach is growling just thinking about it! 'Irish' I had some right now :)

Dana - Food for Thought

Thursday 10th of March 2011

I am one of those people, too! I always get the same thing at each restaurant I frequent! This soup looks so good... I bet I would order it again and again!