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Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl

Hands-on time 30 mins
Total time 9 hrs
Yield

Serves 12

The slow cooker completely eliminates the stirring part of caramelizing onions; it all goes happily unattended. Freeze the bag of soup in a bowl rather than laying it flat, so it will fit in the saucepan when it's time to thaw.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 pounds large sweet onions, vertically sliced (about 16 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 cups unsalted beef stock (such as Swanson)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 24 (1/2-ounce) slices whole-grain French bread baguette
  • 5 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 1 1/4 cups)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 240
  • fat 8.3 g
  • satfat 4.8 g
  • monofat 2.3 g
  • polyfat 0.6 g
  • protein 9 g
  • carbohydrate 33 g
  • fiber 2 g
  • cholesterol 23 mg
  • iron 2 mg
  • sodium 511 mg
  • calcium 172 mg

How to Make It

  1. Place butter, thyme, and bay leaf in the bottom of a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Add onions; sprinkle with sugar. Cover and cook on HIGH for 8 hours.

  2. Remove thyme and bay leaf; discard. Add stock, vinegar, salt, and pepper; cook, covered, on HIGH for 30 minutes.

  3. Preheat broiler to high.

  4. Arrange bread in a single layer on 2 baking sheets; broil 30 seconds on each side or until toasted. Place 1 cup soup in each of 12 (8-ounce) ramekins or ovenproof bowls, or follow freezing instructions. Top each serving with 2 bread slices and about 2 tablespoons cheese. Place 6 ramekins on a jelly-roll pan; broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown. Repeat procedure with remaining 6 ramekins, bread slices, and cheese.