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French Onion Soup

This image courtesy of Mark T. Shapiro

Editor's Note: The return of cold weather can only mean one thing. It's time to make soup! This French Onion Soup recipe is easy to make and is a hearty vegetarian recipe, too. You'll love that you can make this easy soup recipe right in your slow cooker. This slow cooker soup recipe includes a generous portion of a baguette, which is placed on the bottom of each ovenproof bowl. Top each bowl with cheese, and you're ready for a tasty and hearty soup that will warm you up on a cold winter's night! You can find the link to Enhanced Vegetable Stock in the list of ingredients below.

On a chilly day, there’s nothing more appetizing than a bowl of steaming hot onion soup, bubbling away under a blanket of browned cheese. Normally, caramelizing the onions for this masterpiece is a laborious process that can easily involve an hour of almost constant stirring. Fortunately, your slow cooker can now do most of this tiresome work for you.

Since it’s important that the stock for this soup be very flavorful, I recommend using Enhanced Vegetable Stock. The results are more than worth the added effort. This is one of the best onion soups ever!

Serves6

Slow Cooker Time HIGH4 hr

Cooking MethodBroiling, Slow Cooking

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timehalf-day

One Pot MealYes

Recipe CourseHot Appetizer, Main Course

Dietary ConsiderationVegetarian

EquipmentCrock Pot

MealDinner, Lunch

Taste and TextureCheesy, Savory

Type of DishHot Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs (1.5 kg) sliced onions (about 6 medium onions
  • 2 tbsp (25 ml) melted butter 
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) granulated sugar 
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt 
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) cracked black peppercorns 
  • 8 cups (2 l) Enhanced Vegetable Stock
  • 2 tbsp (25 ml) brandy or cognac (optional) 
  • 12 slices baguette, about ½ inch (1 cm) thick 
  • 2 cups (500 ml) shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese
  • 6 ovenproof soup bowls

Instructions

  1. In slow cooker stoneware, combine onions and butter. Stir to coat onions thoroughly. Cover and cook on High for 1 hour, until onions are softened.

  2. Add sugar, salt and peppercorns and stir well. Place two clean tea towels, each folded in half (so you will have four layers), over top of stoneware, to absorb the moisture. Cover and cook on High for 4 hours, stirring two or three times to ensure that onions are browning evenly, replacing towels each time.

  3. Add vegetable stock and brandy, if using. Remove towels, cover and cook on High for 2 hours.

  4. Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into ovenproof bowls. Place 2 slices baguette in each bowl. Sprinkle liberally with cheese and broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until top is bubbling and brown. Serve immediately.

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Unbelievably fantastic... Made the regular broth one day Made enhanced the next - and proceeded with recipe. Flavors light and amazing and sophisticated - presentation beautiful - allowing bread edges to stick up and get toasted as much as possible was perfect, too. In the future would use all 3 crock pots (walk thru time looking at them) to maximize hours and effort.

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