I think we’ll all agree that the nice summer weather was late to the party this year. As such, I found myself somewhat recently making soup. Onion soup no less.

I make this soup all the time. So much so, that 10 year old – onion hating me, would be shocked. Dismayed even.

So why, when for once, I was planning to share said soup with visitors did I decided I would try to change it up?? The only word that comes to mind is stupidity. In my quest to somehow make my favourite soup better – I destroyed it.


You had such promise onions on their way to being caramelized… but then you met me… woopsie.

Onion soup is ridiculously easy to make. In its most basic form you caramelize some onions and add water on top… let it simmer away until magnificent. If you like, you can substitute wine or broth or beer for the water. But BE CAREFUL.

This is where I made my mistake. In place of some of the water I decided to add some beer. In it went, before I tasted it. Like I said… stupid. It was an incredibly bitter beer. Which of course, made an incredibly bitter soup.

I had a couple of hours before the girls arrived for dinner. Enough time to try three techniques to save the soup and therefore the dinner. In the interest of saving you the time of doing an internet search – here are your options when you have an incredibly bitter soup to deal with.

Option 1 – Add a little sugar. This works well if the bitter taste isn’t too overwhelming. A little maple in a parsnip or carrot soup can actually be quite lovely. Add a TBSP of sugar to the pot. Stir and wait 2 minutes. Then give it another taste?? Still bitter – don’t add more sugar! Strangely enough something can be sweet with a bitter after taste… also known as bad.

Option 2 – Remove 1/2 the liquid and replace with new broth or water. This will only help if the bitterness is in the liquid. If it is because you have slightly burnt your meat or vegetables before they went in, or the veggies themselves were just bitter (not uncommon for older root veg) this is not going to help much if at all.


Looks pretty good… but I assure you it tasted like poison.

Option 3 – Call it. It’s dead. Time to start again. Sometimes, as painful as it is that you have just wasted that time, money and food… not to mention that you perhaps have already cleaned up and it’s time to get dirty again, you just have to do it. In my case this is the road I ended up having to travel. Though there wasn’t enough time… or onions for that matter (and honestly by this point it had gotten warmer and I wasn’t feeling soup so much anyways – aka I dumped you not other way around soup). So my ‘fix’ was to make salad instead.

Of course… had I tasted the beer before it went into the soup… or attempted to remove all the liquid and start again right from the start I wouldn’t have been in this mess. But as I said in the beginning… stupidity was the name of the game.