I have had a love hate affair with french onion soup for years. I love eating it, but hate making it. I remember the first time I had it, was at a very good restaurant in Winnipeg. I was in my earlier twenties. It was an immediate love affair with it, and over the years that has not changed. I remember the first time I made it, and the amount of work that went into it. That’s the hate part of it, the hour plus standing at the stove stirring a pot of onions until they caramelized. Over the years I tried different things to speed it up, but usually ended up with burnt onions. I even tried an oven method I read about ended up, for some reason, with onions that were rubbery. Since I get a craving for it I went back to the low and slow method, and spent the time at the stove. Thing is I am a bit goofy so I continued to think through the problem of a better way. Realized a slow cooker might work, but it also might have a problem evaporating the liquid from the onions cooking slowly. So it has been a few more years of thinking about it. Came up with a solution yesterday, so today I tried it. I was surprised at how well it works, so now I have a way with out standing at the stove for over an hour. You need a large slow cooker don’t even try it in a small one.
3 pounds onions sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 smashed garlic cloves
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat the slow cooker on high, add the onions and sprinkle the salt, pepper, garlic , and thyme on top of them. Cook covered for 2 and 1/2 hours stirring occasionally. Drain the onions well in a strainer. Add the butter to the slow cooker and return the onions. Cook covered for 5 and 1/2 hours stirring occasionally.
1 and 1/2 litres beef broth
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry sherry
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
After the 5 and 1/2 hours add the ingredients above to the slow and cook for 45 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar to the slow cooker stir and cook for 15 minutes.
2 slices of toasted rye bread rub with a clove of garlic
Sliced mozzarella cheese, you can really use any cheese you like.
2 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese
This isn’t the traditional way to serve french onion soup, it just my way. We did have the traditional french onion soup bowls, but we put them in the recycling. They did work very well but they are a total pain to clean, so my job was find something else. Last time I tried some ramekins we have, but there wasn’t enough soup to bread. So this was a new try and it worked. It may not be traditional but it the outcome that matters anyways.
Cover the toast with lots of sliced mozzarella cheese and place on a small cookie sheet and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Add a teaspoon of parmesan cheese to a soup bowl, fill with the soup. With an egg lifter place the cheese toast on top.