When I made this soup for the first time I made a big mistake. Since my hubby comes home every day for lunch we usually reserve soup for lunch time. Since this soup takes 6-8 hours to cook in the slow cooker, and I didn’t feel like getting up in the wee hours to get started on it, I decided to make it the day before. It was a great plan, until a couple hours in when my house started smelling fabulous and I knew I had to wait a whole entire day before I could eat a bowl of it. It was torturous. I was tempted to skip on my dinner plans and just have it for supper. But, my will power persevered and I spooned it away in a storage container and stashed it in the fridge to be heated up the next day. It was so worth the wait.
I’ve never made French Onion Soup before. Mostly because James isn’t a fan of onions so I thought it would be off the list. Especially after having not so great versions at restaurants. But then, I had a rich, flavourful version that got me craving another bowl and I decided it was time to try it at home.
This was every bit as good as I hoped it would be. Rich and flavourful, slightly sweet and oh so comforting. And, you know what, it even satisfied the picky onion eaters in the family. The kids, hubby and I gobbled it right up.
Normally you place the bread on top of the soup bowls and then broil it, but since I don’t have oven safe soup bowls we broiled the bread separately and placed it on top. It’s just as delicious and makes for any easy dipper for little people who may have a harder time getting their spoon to break up the bread. I’m a little wary of soggy bread but both me and James loved this and when the bread soaks up the delicious broth there is absolutely nothing to not like about it.
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 4 medium sweet onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup beer
- 2 quarts low-sodium beef stock
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (or 1.5 teaspoons dried)
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 baguette, sliced
- Gruyere cheese, sliced or grated (harvarti is also good)
- Turn on your slow cooker and set to high. Add butter and let melt. Add onions, garlic, vinegar, brown sugar, and salt. Mix well. Cover and let cook for 1-1.5 hours, stirring every 15 minutes, until onions begin to caramelize and turn brown. Stir in flour, allow to cook for a couple minutes then stir in beer and beef stock a bit at a time, stirring well between each addition to avoid lumps. Stir in thyme and pepper. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired.
- To serve: Top baguette slices with cheese and broil until cheese is bubbly and golden. Serve on top of soup. Alternately, if your soup bowls are broiler safe you can place the bread and cheese right on the soup and broil.