Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crock Pot French Onion Soup

We are still in the season of soups. January is, I think, the coldest month most places so I know that a lot of you are still dreading going outside. You're bundling up and enjoying time on the couch, by the fire, drinking tea or coffee or hot chocolate. Well, I am anyway and I'm not really North!

I found this recipe on Pinterest way back and finally gave it a try. It is the best crock pot meal that I've ever tasted. The work of caramelizing the onions before hand really pays off with the flavor. I went the route of making croutons and I didnt broil with the cheese. You'll see the way I did it below but feel free to go to the original source and see what they did. Either way you finish it off, the flavor of this soup is the same as restaurant quality - I promise!

French Onion Soup (adapted from All Recipes)
6 tablespoons butter
4 large yellow onions, sliced and separated into rings
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cooking sherry
7 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf

French Bread, cubed
Olive Oil
Onion Powder, Garlic salt, Garlic Powder, Oregano, Basil (or any seasonings you want/have)

1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat butter in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat; cook and stir onions until they become translucent, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle onions with sugar; reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until onions are soft and browned, at least 30 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir sherry into onion mixture and scrape bottom of pot to dissolve small bits of browned food from the pot. Transfer onions into a slow cooker and pour in beef broth. Season to taste with sea salt; stir in thyme and bay leaf. Cover cooker, set on High, and cook 4 to 6 hours. If desired, set on Low and cook 8 to 10 hours.

At any point you can make your croutons. Simply toss the bread in a large bowl with olive oil. then add your seasonings and toss again, to coat each piece. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 375 for 4 minutes or so, turning half way through.

When soup is done, ladle into bowls, then add croutons and sprinkle your cheese mixture on top. Let sit for a minute or 2 so that the cheese can melt from the heat of your soup.

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