I'm a big fan of cooking with beer, so when I was looking through a seasonal cookbook (Local Delectables: Seasonal Recipes from the Pioneer Valley) gifted to me by a friend and found a Winter Lager Soup, I was eager to try it. We cooked it in the crockpot even though it's a stovetop recipe, and it came out okay. There are some changes I would make for next time.
2 tbsp sunflower oil (I used olive oil)
3 ½ cups white onion, diced (I used one small onion - I think next time I would use the full 3.5 cups)
6 large cloves garlic, minced (we only had 2 cloves)
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp salt (I needed to add way more than 1 tsp)
3 lbs Russet potatoes, cubed (I think I came out with less than 3 lbs because the potatoes they had at Cross Street Market were lousy and full of eyes. Also, cube them fairly small - bite sized - something like 1/2 inch cubes)
1 ½ cups lager beer (I used Yuengling)
7 cups water (I used 6, because I was crockpotting. I think next time, with the crockpot, I would reduce this even more and use 3-4)
In a large stock pot, heat oil over med-high heat; sauté onions and garlic until lightly browned.
Stir in spices, potatoes, beer, and water.
Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a steady simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. (Or put in your crockpot which cooks on crazy high heat and cook for 2.5-3 hours on high.)
Serve topped with whole wheat toast covered with melted Gruyere cheese. (I used whole wheat toast with melted parmesean cheese, but it added a whole other dimension to what would have been a watery broth. I also covered the soup with parm, which was also a nice addition.)
I also added a box of mushrooms to the soup, which gave it some more stuff, since we were eating the soup for dinner and not as an appetizer.
Verdict: The soup was okay - I think next time I would add more stuff to it, like carrots, celery, and white beans. It did smell amazing, and was nice and warm for the winter.