My husband has this weird thing where he doesn’t like onions, but he loves French onion soup. I can’t quite figure it out, but as a huge fan of onions, I’m happy to sit down to a big bowl of onion soup any time. I’ve tried quite a few recipes for the classic French soup over the years, and this slow cooker version is definitely my favorite. Who knew you could caramelize onions in your slow cooker?
Be aware that this isn’t the sort of slow cooker recipe you can just walk away from, as you’ll need to stir your onions every 45 minutes or so. But trust me, it will be worth it! You’ll also need to finish the soup off under your broiler, because it just wouldn’t be French onion soup without a topping of crusty bread and melted cheese. If you don’t have Gruyere handy, Mozzarella, Provolone, or even Parmesan will do.
Slow Cooker French Onion Soup
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- 3-4 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 8 cups low sodium beef broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4-5 cups cubed, crusty (or toasted) bread
- 6 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese
- Turn slow cooker to high. Add the cubed butter and cover. When the butter is melted, add in the onions and mix to combine. Cover and cook for about 1 hour.
- Remove the cover and stir well. Place a clean kitchen towel under the lid. This will help absorb moisture and allow your onions to caramelize. (You may also use a double thickness of paper towels–you’ll need to replace the paper towels 2-3 times during cooking).
- Continue cooking the onions on high for 4-5 more hours, stirring every 35 to 45 minutes, until the onions are a deep golden, caramel color. Remove the towel and turn down the the slow cooker to low.
- Add the broth, bay leaves, and garlic. Cover and cook for 1 hour. Discard the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Preheat your broiler. Place oven-safe bowls or crocks on a baking sheet. Spoon the soup into the bowls.
- Top each bowl with a handful of bread cubes, then sprinkle each bowl with cheese. Broil for 2-4 minutes, until the cheese is browned and bubbly.
Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from Cookie Monster Cooking