Cowbell Absent Landlord French Onion Soup Recipe

  • March 8th, 2017
  • By Dale Dolson and Rob McGregor

At Cowbell, we know that a good recipe doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious.

This week’s culinary experience with Cowbell’s craft beer is again inspired by the cold, crisp weather, when we want to experience warm and comforting recipes. Everyone has one of those favourite, nostalgic recipes — ours is the famous French Onion Soup, which we are making this week in the Cowbell Kitchen with an Absent Landlord! Most of us can remember where we were when we first had these meals. If we close our eyes, we can remember the sights, sounds, feelings, and aromas of that first sip or bite. They seem to be with you for a lifetime and are always something to look forward to.

Bring French Onion Soup to another level with craft beer!

French Onion Soup is a classic — I remember eating it for the first time in a hotel I used to work at. I still remember the rich savoury flavour of onion simmered with red wine and beef broth. After it has been baked, who could forget the plump croutons and the rich strands of melted Swiss or Mozzarella cheese? We all scrape the sides of the bowl to get every last drop!

Tonight we have kicked it up a notch by using our favourite Cowbell craft beer, Absent Landlord, in place of the traditional red wine. It’s not even finished yet and Rob is already sitting at the table, spoon in hand, ready to go! Here’s the recipe:


  • 6 sliced large onions (we like 3 white and 3 red for additional sweetness)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cans Cowbell Absent Landlord Country Kolsch
  • 4 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp fresh or dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp fresh or dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup tomato paste or ketchup
  • 1 generous dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 oz port wine or sherry, if available
  • Salt and pepper
  • Toasted croutons, either cubed or one large
  • Your favourite cheese to melt (we prefer a mixture of Swiss slices, grated extra old white cheddar and grated Parmesan on top for an extra golden crust)


  1. Slowly brown the onions in the butter and olive oil until they are a deep, rich brown colour.
  2. Add in the Cowbell craft beer, beef broth, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, sugar, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and sherry or port.
  3. Simmer gently for at least an hour on low heat.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Ladle the soup into an oven worthy bowl. Top with croutons, and the favourite cheeses of your choice.
  6. Broil in the oven until golden brown.

You will love the result! As with all our recipes, we think Cowbell beer just makes them that much better! Rob is not even talking — just slurping. In the future, this favourite recipe of ours will never be without Cowbell Absent Landlord beer! It’s unforgettable!