Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

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I’ve been posting a lot about breakfast, so I thought I’d switch things up and tell you about this soup.

My favorite thing about making soup in a crockpot or slow cooker is how easy it is. All you do is throw ingredients in a pot, put on a lid, and go about your business while it’s cooking. When you get back, you’re greeted with the smell of caramelized onions and thyme–at least in this case.

A few caveats about this soup: One, it uses beer instead of wine. Traditional French onion soup has red wine, but this recipe calls for beer. It felt a little weird pouring a bottle of Heineken in the crockpot, but also liberating.

Two, the recipe serves a lot. I halved it and it was still enough for three people, plus leftovers.

Three, the cheese makes all the difference. My favorite part about the recipe is putting a baguette slice on top of the soup, sprinkling some Gruyère on the bread and broiling it in the oven. Make sure you keep an eye on things: the cheese can go quickly from bubbling and brown to charcoal. I like to take it out of the oven when the edges are brown but the middle is still gooey and melted.

My sister and I had bowls of soup late the other night after she came home from traveling. It’s the perfect dinner for cold winter nights when all you feel like doing is putting on thick wool socks and flannel pajamas and watching Forrest Gump from middle to end, and then from the beginning to middle on TV. Timing is everything.

Here’s a song to get you started on your French onion soup-cooking journey.

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup (slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is)

makes 8-10 servings (unless you half the recipe like I did)

Ingredients

4 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
8 ounces of beer
64 ounces of low-sodium beef stock
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds
gruyère cheese, sliced or shredded

Directions

Set your crock pot on high, then add onions, garlic, brown sugar, butter, salt and balsamic and mix until combined. Cover and let cook for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are a bit caramelized and brown on the edges. Add in flour, then stir thoroughly and let sit for 5 minutes. Add in beer, beef stock, thyme, and pepper, then turn heat down to low, cover and cook for 6-8 hours.

Before serving, cut french bread or baguette into slices. Fill soup bowls to the top, then cover with slice of bread and some cheese. Place on a baking sheet and set under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Be careful when serving as the bowls are hot. Enjoy!

About Emily Wasserman

Hi! My name is Emily and I'm a writer based in St. Louis. If I was stranded on an island and could request three items of food, they would be avocados, Halloumi and chocolate croissants.
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