Just because we had a small cool front in Houston I start to get excited for Fall and making soups. I am a huge fan of French onion soup and this hit the spot for me. I think I might leave off that brandy next time, I liked the flavor before adding it. It’s always nice to have a set it and forget it meal waiting for you after a long day!
French Onion Soup in the Slow Cooker
(Adapted from kitchn)
For the soup:
3 pounds yellow onions, peeled, sliced, and cut into quarter-moons
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
10 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons brandy (optional)
4 to 6 toasted baguette slices per bowl
1/3 cup grated Gruyère cheese per bowl (1 1/3 to 2 cups total)
Chopped shallot or fresh onion (optional)
Season the onions. Place the onions in a 5-quart or larger slow cooker. Stir in the butter, oil, salt, and a generous amount of pepper.
Cook on LOW for 12 hours. Cover and cook on the LOW setting overnight until the onions should be dark golden-brown and soft, 12 hours or overnight.
Add the broth and vinegar. Stir in the broth and vinegar.
Cook for LOW 6 to 8 hours. Cover and continue cooking on the LOW setting for 6 to 8 hours. This is flexible; as long as your slow cooker holds moisture well (wrap a towel over the lid if quite a lot of steam escapes), you can cook the soup for hours. Longer cooking will only intensify the flavors. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed, and stir in the brandy if using.
Portion the soup into oven-safe bowls. Arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat to 350°F. Ladle the soup and onions into oven-safe soup bowls and place the bowls on a rimmed baking sheet.
Top with toast and shredded cheese. Top each bowl with a slice of toast and a generous quantity of shredded Gruyère cheese, about 1/3 cup per bowl.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Bake until the cheese is completely melted, 20 to 30 minutes.
Broil for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the oven to broil. Broil until the cheese is bubbling and browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Serve with chopped fresh shallot or onion if desired.
Adjusting consistency & thickness: When I have made this, the soup has always been just the right consistency. But if yours seems a little thin or watery, you can quickly finish it off on the stovetop by simmering gently in a saucepan for 15 minutes or until the broth has reduced a little.