Oh so simple and oh so good. Take this crock pot French onion soup out for a spin today and impress your friends and family.
I love a good French onion soup. I mean really love it. If it’s on the menu, I usually make sure I have it. Unfortunately, that means the good, the bad and the ugly. I should put adequate on that list too. I can live with adequate, but most seem to be wanting and falling into the bad/ugly range.
A good onion soup is more than a beef broth with some cooked onions. You need to get the caramelization going, or you have nothing. You need some long cooking. While many techniques require multiple rounds of caramelization on the stove top, you can do it in a crock pot. I’m lazy… I pick number two.
Start by loading a slow cooker with some chopped up onions. Cook with butter, salt, pepper, and thyme. Add a little Worcestershire sauce to deepen the flavor. Cook on high for a long time add the broth and cook a little longer. The serve your favorite way. Yum…
Very nice solid 4. Maybe a 4.5. You can make a little better French onion soup but with a lot more work. Much better than most restaurants.
Notes on Crock Pot French Onion Soup
This recipe can be easily double but could also be cut in half. Some type of crusty bread is used to float cheese on top. You can use what you want, but a nice crusty French baguette is my choice. For the cheese we like provolone, but some prefer gruyere or some Swiss.
What ingredients to use? With many recipes, you can use cheaper generic ingredients. With so few ingredients, quality matters here. So only use ingredients you trust which could be cheaper generic if you know them well.
Very few commercial beef broths are above adequate, and many are just bad. I used Swanson broth here. I think it has improved in quality over the years and is quite good now. The Swanson stock is also good, but I detect no difference in use, so I don’t spend the extra money. I’m using Lee and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce which I trust, but I suspect there are other good choices.
What onions for onion soup? Sweet onions like Vidalias, Mauis, Walla Wallas are probably not the best idea here. I don’t like much sweetness here. So regular yellows are good. I consider white and red onions equivalent to my usual yellow onions and some people like a mix.
Crock pot temperature: One reader, Dan in the comments, had trouble with 9 hours on high burning. So be advised that some crock pots may run hotter so watch for ‘softened and deep golden brown” as the endpoint for the onions being done. I would say if your crock pot ever boils on low, it may be in the “runs hot” category, then use low for this recipe.
My 9-10 hours on high stands and is consistent with other similar recipes and less than Cooks Illustrated which is 10-12 hours on high.
Start with simple ingredients.
Chop 1 1/2 pounds of onions about 3 medium size onions. Add to a smaller crock pot. If doubling recipe then a full-size crock pot is correct.
Add one teaspoon coarse salt, two tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 teaspoon thyme. The butter can go in unmelted, but you will need to stir in 1 hour or melt it first in the microwave.
Cook on high for 9-10 hours until nicely darker brown. Then add 4 cups of beef broth and cook on high for at least one hour more.
Preheat broiler to high. Arrange ramekin or oven safe bowls on a cookie sheet. Ladle hot soup it into the bowls, float toasted crusty bread on soup and covered each bowl with cheese of your choice.
Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden, 2-4 minutes.
Do you want more recipes from 101 Cooking for Two? Sign up for the newsletter and get all posts delivered straight to your inbox!
If you enjoyed this recipe, the pleasure of a rating in the recipe card is requested.
October 29, 2017