I love French Onion Soup and when I have the time and know I’ll have some folks to enjoy it with, I love making this recipe for what I think is just the best I’ve ever had. But it’s a job and after it’s finished, it then has to meld in the fridge overnight before even considering the whole melting of the cheese under the broiler business. Don’t get me wrong, I love it but I’m lucky if I get it done once a year.
So I was really intrigued when I saw a post recently for braised onions made in the crockpot from a cookbook I already owned even; Gifts Cooks Love, from Diane Morgan and Sur la Table. I thought it would be a great recipe to prepare onions for French Onion Soup. I could see how those onions could be a real boon to a quicker version for soup but would also allow me to make a smaller portion and that was of significant interest to me. I actually had that entire bag of onions sliced and in my crockpot within minutes! I did add 1/2 cup of white wine and cooked them on low a bit longer as I had added the extra moisture…next time I’ll reduce the wine to half before adding it to the onions, but I loved the resulting flavor.
Not only were they fabulous but I’ve rediscovered my crockpot and have gone a bit crockpot crazy. In additional to the onions, I’ve made a hot and sweet pepper sauce that I served over a pork roast, Cincinnati Chili and butternut squash soup.
My plan was to use half of the braised onions for soup and am so glad that I saw this post for French Onion Soup – Italian Style from my friend Domenica. While I really wanted to try Julia Childs recipe, I loved the ease of Domenica’s presentation; so this is very much an adapted version of several recipes! Some bread rounds and Parmesan? Perfect. And perfectly easy. Now that is my kind of soup!
French Onion Soup – with some Italian Style!
8 hrs 15 mins
An Italian version of French Onion Soup
For the Braised Onions
- 10 Large (about 8-1/2 pounds) Sweet Onions, such as Walla Walla, Vidalia or Maui
- 1/2 Cup (1 stick) butter, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh thyme
Makes 6 cups of butter-braised onions
For the Soup
- 3 cups of butter braised onions
- 2 Tbsp of flour
- 1 quart beef stock or canned beef broth
- 1/4 cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth
- Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoons cognac To Serve
- Rounds of toasted French mini baguettes slices; rub with olive oil and toast in oven til lightly browned; 4-6 minutes
- Grated Parmesan cheese
To Prepare the Onions:
- Trim the stem end, cut in half lengthwise through the root and peel each half.
- Leaving the root end intact, cut each half lengthwise in 1/4-inch-thick slices. Trim to remove the root.
- Scatter the butter in the bottom of an electric slow cooker; at least 7qt capacity. Add the onions and sprinkle the thyme over the top. Place the lid on the slow cooker, set the cooking mode to high and set a timer for 2 hours.
- Stir the onion mixture. Set a timer for 6 hours, continuing to cook on high. (I actually made mine overnight so set the temperature to low and the timer to 10 hours).
- Turn the power off, remove the cover, give the onions a stir and let cool in the ceramic insert for 1 hour.
- Cool completely, put into storage container and then cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
To Prepare the Soup:
- Heat the butter braised onions in a large pot until warmed,add the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the beef stock or broth and heat, stirring thoroughly til slightly thickened. Add the wine and season to taste.
- Simmer partially covered for 20-25 minutes.
- Correct seasoning. Set aside uncovered until ready to serve, then reheat to a simmer.
- Just before serving, stir in the cognac.
- Pour into individual bowls, add a couple of the toasted baguette rounds to the top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve additional baguette slices on the side.
Butter Braised Onions from Gifts Cooks Love, Diane Morgan and Sur la Table
Soup adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Childs