I’ve never really been a huge fan of onions. I’ve only recently come to tolerate them. I used to pick them out of dishes, no matter how small they were cut or how well they were cooked. I still tend to add less onion than suggested in recipes, but I do add them now. I think I started to eat them, oddly enough, because I kinda like to chop them up.
This is the second french onion soup I’ve made. I was attracted to it because it uses the slow cooker. I would say in the fall and winter I probably use the slow cooker three times a month, its just so convenient. However, this soup is pretty sweet, but I think I prefer the more savory french soups. I’m also not sold that I actually like french onion soup, or if I just like the idea of french onion soup. How many other soups are acceptable to melt a piece of cheese on top? Also, I’ve found I’m not a huge fan of a big soggy crouton on top of the soup. So we melt the cheese in the broiler for a couple minutes and then toast the bread next to the soup and dunk it.
Note: The original recipe called for 64 oz of beef stock. I didn’t realize until I was writing my post that I only used one carton of stock (32 oz). I think it was fine if you have the bread on the side like we did. If you want the more traditional crouton on the soup you probably want to use more stock so there is some left in the soup after the cheese is melted and a bunch of the stock is soaked up into the bread.
Recipe (Adapted from How Sweet it is )
We got 8 servings from this recipe
- 4 medium sweet onions sliced
- 1 large clove of garlic or two to three small ones diced
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 8 oz beer (please use a good one! We used fat tire)
- 32 oz beef stock (the original recipe called for 64 oz)
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- sourdough bread (Madison sourdough if you are in the area!)
- Sliced swiss cheese
Turn the crockpot on high and add the onions, garlic, butter, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and salt. Stir well and cover. Check on them and stir every 15ish minutes. Once the onions have softened up add the flour, mix well, and let it sit for five minutes. My onions softened but since there is so much steam in the slow cooker they didn’t really caramelize. Once the flour has been cooking for about five minutes add the beer, beef stock, thyme, and pepper. Lower the slow cooker heat to low, cover, and cook for 6-8 hours.
When you are ready to eat fill your oven safe dishes and top with the cheese. We broiled the soup and bread (to make it toasty) for a couple minutes (keep an eye on this!) We served the soup on a trivet because the bowls are super-hot coming out of the oven like that!