It is crock pot central in my kitchen today. It’s Sunday, and I’m trying to get some batch cooking done so that I have something healthy to eat for lunch the next couple of weeks. The name of the game is veggie type soups. I’ve already got a batch of my Crock Pot Tomato Soup (which freezes beautifully, I’ll have you know) going in my 3 quart crock pot . Now I’m going to try an experiment to see if I can make good French Onion Soup in a crock pot, caramelized onions and all. French Onion Soup is a big favorite of mine (though my onionphobic husband won’t touch it). There’s nothing better on a chill winter day than a piping hot bowl of it with some nice crusty cheese toast floating on top. Delish. Now, this isn’t as Fix It And Forget It as most of my crock pot recipes, but the end results are worth it. So without further ado…
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter (or in my case, Smart Balance Omega Light, extra virgin olive oil flavor)
- 6 medium onions, sliced thin
- 1 Tbsp granulated white sugar
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste (if you have it–you can make it without, but it’s better with)
- 3 cups of beef broth
- 1/2 cup wine (dry red or a white–I actually used Nick Faldo’s Sauvignon Blanc as it’s what I had on hand–it’s kind of a sweet wine)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- Go ahead and turn your slow cooker to high. Add in the olive oil and butter and allow to melt while you’re slicing onions. This process can be sped up by melting the butter ahead of time and pouring it in.
- Are you weeping yet? I’ve read tips about a zillion different ways to keep from crying over the smell of onions. Stick a slice of bread up to the hilt of your knife. Refrigerate the onions. Wear swim goggles (I have actually done that). So far, I haven’t come up with a way to stop the tears. BUT for getting the onion smell off your hands when you’re finished, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and then rub them all over stainless steel (in my house that’s the faucet or the sink…you could use a stainless spoon or something). I have no idea why this works, but somehow it neutralizes the onion odor.
- When fats are melted, add sliced onions and stir to coat.
- Sprinkle the sugar over the onions and put the top back on. Cook on high for 1-2 hours (until slightly brown), stirring occasionally.
- Once the onions are caramelized, add in the remaining ingredients.
- Allow to simmer on high for another three hours.
This freezes really well. If you want to serve immediately, make up some crustini with gruyere or swiss melted on top. Or you could make nice cheesy croutons to float in it. It’s all good. I usually freeze this in individual portions. You can also take a portion and dump it in the crock pot over a roast. Makes a fabulous gravy.
From a nutrition standpoint, the soup alone is only 96 calories and 4.75 grams of fat per serving (the batch makes 4 servings), so really not bad at all.