Easy Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Salad Nicoise and French Onion SoupI

“The light made the snowballs look yellow. Or at least I hoped that was the cause.”
― Gary D. Schmidt, The Wednesday Wars

A lot of us are having a snow day, pleasant enough gentle snow fall for us here on the coast, but I understand that it will get pretty nasty further inland and what better to have ready than a hot bowl of soup for lunch or dinner my choice today, French onion soup made in the slow cooker yesterday.  I’ve seen recipes where the say to just to add the onions to the slow cooker with a bit of butter and oil and cook for an hour, but I have the handy Ninja cooker that I can sauté in and then flip the switch to slow cook to finish the soup…So I offer up this version while tonight’s baked beens simmer away in the Ninja cooker filling the house with comfort food aromas.  Be safe and stay warm.

2 lbs.  sliced onions and 2 medium to large shallots. sliced
1 tablespoon butter and a tablespoon of flour blended together in a small bowl, plus 1 tablespoon butter and oil to sauté the onions in
1 shallot,
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cloves roasted garlic, smashed
8 cups, chicken and beef stock, (2 Knorr concentrated chicken and beef stock)
a glug of cognac
3 sprigs of thyme,1 bay leaf
freshly ground pepper
grated Gruyère and grilled French bread crouton for each bowl

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Sauté the onions in 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil slowly so as not to burn just lightly caramelized.  Add the minced garlic cloves and sauté for a minute then toss in the roasted garlic cloves add a glug of cognac and cook for 2 minutes or so to burn off the alcohol, add the butter flour mixture and mix in toss in the herbs (pick out thyme stems and bay leaf before serving) and add the stock, stirring it all together .  Turn slow cooker to high and cook for 2-3 hours.  I was able to get the soup up to a full boil on the stove top setting then switched to high slow cooker and it was 2 1/2 hours cooking time.

To serve have ready the oven proof crocks or soup bowls place some soup in each bowl leaving enough room for a fat crouton and a gooey layer of cheese.  It is easier to handle several bowls on a large sheet pan than it is to place each bowl on the oven rack.  Heat oven to 350º and bake the onion soup for about 30 minutes…the cheese should be nothing but a melted gooey delicious dripping mess.

Serve a simple salad with French vinaigrette or one of my favorites…

La Salade à L’Huile de Noix

Ingredients

* a mixture of lettuce, enough for 4 people
* 1 tablespoon of walnut oil
* 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or grapeseed oil
* 12 walnuts, chopped into rough pieces
* 1 tablespoon of wine vinegar
* some salt and pepper

* wash and dry your chosen lettuce

* mix together the vinegar, a little salt and pepper,

* then whisk in the walnut and vegetable oil

* add to the salad in a large salad bowl

* add the chopped walnuts

* then toss the salad and serve