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Originally published February 14, 2012 at 3:03 PM | Page modified February 15, 2012 at 12:26 PM

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Recipe: Sweet Onion Soup

Sweet onions and Belgian beer make this recipe a standout.

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Makes 5 or 6 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 pounds sweet onions, such as Walla Walla, Maui, Vidalia or Mayan, cut into thin slices

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

12 ounces beer, preferably a slightly sweet one such as a Belgian ale or wheat beer (may substitute a hard cider)

4 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth

1. Heat the oil in a 5-quart pot, preferably one that's wide and not too tall, over medium heat. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are completely soft, adjusting the heat as needed so the onions do not brown.

2. Add the butter, stirring to incorporate as it melts. Increase the heat to medium-high; add the beer. Once it comes to a boil, cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the beer has reduced by half. Stir in the broth, then cover the pot and reduce the heat so the liquid barely bubbles at the edges. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring a few times, then taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

3. Divide the soup among individual serving bowls. Serve right away.

Note: Onion soups traditionally are served topped with a thick slice of French bread and a generous blanket of melted cheese, which often overwhelms the soup's flavor.

Serve this soup with a lightly toasted slice of bread on the side, topped with melted cheddar cheese.

From Stephanie Witt Sedgwick, Special to The Washington Post

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