Saturday, November 4, 2017

Slow cooker French Onion Soup.. Better for you recipe

As I mentioned in my last post I've been working on a better me.  Working on being healthier and cooking healthier not just for myself but my family.

I had a request for French onion soup for dinner for a Sunday night and I went about searching for a recipe that wasn't so full of fat and calories and in the end wound up tweaking a recipe to make it healthier (because honestly, there's no need for 2 Tbs oil and 2 Tbs unsalted butter).  Time and Patience, yes.. all that extra fat, no way.

I have this pan I love, like, I absolutely Adore it and use it for just about anything I can.
It's only a 2Qt, but I love that nothing sticks to it, and if I do get some sticking a little soak in hot water and scrub a bit with baking soda and it's good as new.  I've had this for over a year and a half and It still looks good as new inside.

I was making my soup in the crock pot, but to get the onions properly caramelized was either going to take me 12 hours in the crock pot, or just about an hour on the stove top.  I don't like leaving the crock on overnight (especially with four legged critters in the house). The recipe that I based mine off used 3 pounds of yellow onions, plus oil and butter.  Since becoming lactose intolerant butter isn't really my friend and all that fat is really unnecessary in this recipe (as well as 12 hours for the onions in the crock pot, that's not happening).  

I started out with three pounds of yellow onions plus one big vidalia onion, cut into quarter moon slices, one tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1 Tsp Sea Salt and set it over medium-low heat.   I knew this was going to take a while, so I had a project I was working on while this was going.

                                                                     15 minutes in...

45 minutes in

60 minutes in...
an hour and 15 minutes in...

                                             90 minutes and they're ready for the crockpot

This was the most time consuming part of this whole recipe, but really, it's so worth it because the end result is absolutely delicious.  I started this at 9am on a Sunday morning, my son was sleeping, my BF was at work so I had the time and while I was doing this I was working on a needlepoint project so I only got up every so often to give it a stir, plus this is a nice heavy bottomed pan that doesn't burn as long as you've got he heat set nice and low.

I don't have soup crocks, so in the end I ended up toasting the bread and cheese in the oven and topping the bowls of soup with it like that, it was amazing either way.

So now, without fail, here is my recipe, adapted from the Kitchn's recipe.


3 pounds yellow or Vidalia onions, peeled, sliced, and cut into quarter-moons
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
10 cups reduced-sodium beef broth 
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 to 6 toasted baguette slices per bowl
1/3 cup grated Swiss cheese per bowl (1 1/3 to 2 cups total)


Since I started my recipe on the stove top as stated above, these are my directions:

Cut the onions into quarter moon slices and place in a heavy bottomed pan with 1 Tbs oil and 1 tsp Kosher salt.  Sweat the onions over low heat and continue to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until caramelized.  Mine took just about an hour and a half to be right where I wanted them.

Add to Crock pot along with the broth and vinegar. 

Cover and continue cooking on low for 6 to 8 hours. Longer cooking will only intensify the flavors and add richness to the soup. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Portion the soup into oven-safe bowls. Arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat to 350°f and place the bowls on a rimmed baking sheet.

Top each bowl with a slice of toast and about 1/3 cup of shredded cheese.

Bake until the cheese is completely melted, 20 to 30 minutes and then broil for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the oven to broil. Broil until the cheese is bubbling and browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Serve with chopped fresh shallot or onion if desired.

This makes a lot of soup and it was enough for dinner sized portions for the three of us, plus seconds for my kid and lunch for myself the next day