Thursday, August 7, 2008

French Onion Soup

French onion soupFrench onion soup, originally uploaded by beFOODled.

What rock have I been under for ignoring my slow cooker for so long? Last weekend, emboldened by my pulled pork experience, I slow-cooked a delicious French onion soup using a recipe that was given to me by my friend Christine from French class. It's easy, but it's really a weekend recipe because you need to do something every hour or so. Christine makes it in bulk and freezes it, which I think is very smart.

I used my homemade chicken stock, but I think it would have been even richer with the more authentic option of beef stock. Also, cooking with alcohol gives it great flavour. Many recipes call for cognac, but that was very expensive, so I bought brandy instead. In fact, I bet you could substitute cooking wine from SuperStore and it would still taste nice.

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup
serves two
recipe adapted from The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson

3 onions, sliced
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
3 Tbsp brandy
4 slices baguette
1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated

In the slow cooker stoneware, mix the melted butter and the onions together. Cover and cook on high for one hour.

Add the sugar, salt and peppercorns and stir. Place two clean tea towels, each folded in half so you have four layers, over top of the stoneware but underneath the lid to trap the moisture. Cook for two hours on high, stirring two or three times, until the onions have browned evenly.

The cookbook said the towels would absorb the moisture and to replace them a couple of times during this step. I found that the moisture just passed through them and condensed on the lid instead, so I just wiped the lid a few times instead of replacing the towels.

Add the brandy, chicken stock. Remove the towels and cook on high for an hour.

Preheat the broiler. Ladle the soup into ovenproof bowls. Top each bowl with two slices of baguette and grated cheese. Place the bowls on a cookie sheet, and broil until the cheese has browned, about three minutes. Sprinkle with some chopped fresh parsley and serve.


Kim said...

Yep! Wine would work great, usually white if you start with chicken or vegetable stock and red if you started with beef stock. French onion soup is actually quite versatile. Love your bowl!

asha said...

Thanks Kim, it's from Zone in Ottawa. They have lots of great kitchen stuff!

deirdre said...

Not that I have a slow cooker, but d'you think this would work with vegetable stock? I adore French onion soup but the beef stock thing does squick me out a tad.

asha said...

Yes, I'm sure it would still taste great with veggie stock. That's a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Hi Asha
So glad you enjoyed this!

I've been experimenting with various types of onions and have found that ordinary cooking onions work best. The sweeter onions don't seem to hold their flavour after cooking it for so long. Right now, I'm waiting for onions from my parents garden.

I tend to cheat a bit on stock. If I don't have homemade, I will use the Campbell's low sodium.


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