I find that my crockpot is endlessly versatile. Recently I’ve been using it make large batches of caramelized onions and from there it isn’t much of stretch to turn your vat of caramelized onions into a delicious French Onion Soup. As long as you are okay with the delicious smell of cooking onions wafting through your house for a day or two. Step one is to acquire onions, arrange them artfully and photograph them.
Once the photo session is over it’s time to get slicing. This is easily the most time consuming step in the process. But it can also be a nice cathartic release if onions make you cry. When I slice eight onions I indulge in a nice cry and end up feeling much better when the task is done.
I start the crockpot heating while I slice and put in a knob of butter and a slug of olive oil. You don’t need a ton, just enough to make sure things don’t stick as you are getting the ball rolling.
Once you cram all the onions you sliced into your crockpot it’s time to sit back and relax. I started the crock pot a few hours before bed time, gave them a couple of stirs, covered my crockpot and hit the sack. When I woke up I had the bottom left waiting for me. A couple of hours later my onions were oh so ready.
Once I had the onions were I wanted them I scooped some out into an ice cube tray to freeze and use later.
After I had the amount of onions I want left in my crockpot it was time for phase two. Add some fresh thyme leaves, garlic, salt, pepper, and unsalted beef stock, worcestershire sauce. And the most important thing to add is quality brandy instead of some grocery store sherry.
Because I was taking this to a weekend getaway with a group of friends I packed it up into a zip lock bag and then warmed it up when it was time to serve.
- 8 largish onions
- 1-2 Tbsp of butter
- 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil
- 2-3 Tbsp of thyme leaves
- 2 boxes of unsalted beef stock
- Hefty splash of Brandy
- 2-3 Tbsp of minced garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add butter and olive oil into crockpot
- Thinly slice onions and place in crockpot. Cram them in if they don’t fit. They will shrink.
- Leave crockpot on low for approximately 12 hours. Stir every few hours.
- Take out any excess caramelized onions and freeze or refrigerate.
- Add in thyme leaves, unsalted beef stock, brandy, minced garlic, salt and pepper.
- Let simmer for another couple of hours until the flavors marry. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
- Freeze or refrigerate once cool if eating later.
- If serving shred some fresh gruyere on top. Bake if you want or just let it melt into the soup on it’s own. Make sure there is some crusty bread for dipping!