A Tearful Bowl

We're on a roll with all of these amazing soups, so why spoil a good thing? This time around, we're looking at classic French Onion Soup … with a twist. Instead of simmering said soup on the stove, we're making it in the slow cooker. Think you can't get that caramely goodness when you're using a slow cooker? Think again:

The key here is to spend the first hour of cooking with no stock in the pot and some periodic stirring to get a lovely bit of cooking happening before the soup even begins to look like a soup. If you were in a hurry, you could do this step on the stove, but then you'd have another pot to clean. Choose your challenge, I suppose. I also really love the combination of red and yellow onions with butter, vinegar, and sugar. It gives the final dish a very complex flavor, which is absolutely part of the appeal of French Onion Soup.

Because part of the recipe has you putting glorious bread and cheese on the top of each serving of soup, this is one recipe in which I'll merely suggest a beer or cider be poured into a chilled glass and then you call it dinner. Who needs side salads or other such things when such a beautiful bowl of soup is playing the star of the meal anyway? Enjoy this classic and count yourself clever for allowing your slow cooker to do most of the work! Really, the hardest part of the entire process is trying to avoid crying while you're cutting the onions. A suggestion: don't form an emotional bond with them!

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

  • 3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 T. butter
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 2 T. corn starch
  • 3 qt. beef, turkey, or chicken stock — I used homemade turkey stock
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • French bread
  • Swiss cheese, sliced

Turn your slow cooker to HIGH, then add the sliced onions, minced garlic, butter, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar; mix until combined. Cover and cook in the slow cooker for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, sweet, and brown on the edges. Add the corn starch; stir thoroughly and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the stock, thyme, and pepper; turn the heat to LOW, cover and cook for 6-8 hours.

Before serving, cut the french bread into slices. Fill soup bowls to the top with the onion soup; cover the top of the bowl with a slice of bread and a couple of slices of cheese. Set the bowls under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Be careful when serving as bowls will be hot!

  • Yields: 8-10 servings
  • Preparation Time: 7-9 hours (all but an hour of that doesn't require supervision)