Slow Cooker Sweet Onion Soup

26 Jul

Though soup is not traditionally a summer staple, I’m here to make an argument for summer soup.

Soup can be as labor intensive or lazy as you want.  Sure, a chowder can be time consuming, with all of the dicing and chopping of myriad vegetables.  But soup can also take less than two minutes of hands on time, such as this delicious slow cooker sweet onion soup.  Using a mandolin, I sliced up a huge sweet onion in about a minute.  I smashed a couple cloves of garlic with the flat of a knife, and then I tossed the ingredients in a slow cooker and turned a knob.  I didn’t have to stand over a hot stove or preheat an oven.  And that is a huge asset on these steamy summer nights.

Soup can be both hearty and heavy or light and bright.  This soup was a mixture between the two – the consistency was light and delicious, with no heavy starches or creams to weigh it down.  However, the flavors were hearty and bold, thanks to the caramelized onions, Worcestershire, and balsamic.  Served with some tomato bread, this made for a light but satisfying dinner.

Soup is super cost effective.  Summer is the time of year when those of us who are able head off on vacation and spend our evenings doing fun things.  Neither of which are free.  So, if you’re looking at your bank account and feeling a summer squeeze, soup is the perfect way to pinch some pennies.  Because my homemade chicken stock is made of leftovers that would be otherwise tossed, this soup cost less than a couple of dollars for four or five servings.  After putting an obscene amount of money into my gas tank to get to the cabin and back this weekend, a cheap and healthy dinner is just what the doctor ordered.

This slow cooker sweet onion soup kept the kitchen cool but had all the comforting goodness of a proper soup.  Though similar to a French onion soup, it was a bit lighter thanks to the use of chicken stock in place of beef.  The sweet onion from the CSA really kicked the deliciousness up to another level thanks to its freshness and extra sweetness.  Basically, this soup was intensely gratifying and amazingly delicious and the perfect summer dinner.

Slow Cooker Sweet Onion Soup

1 large sweet onion, sliced 1/8″ thick

1/3 cup canola oil

2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce

3 bay leaves

1 tbs. whole black peppercorns

1 tbs. kosher salt

1 tbs. balsamic

2-3 cups homemade chicken stock

2-3 cups leftover liquid from boiling a golden beet (if you don’t have this, just use an extra few cups of chicken stock … I only have it thanks to B, who is kind enough to send all sorts of yummy kitchen extras our way)

Place onion, canola oil, garlic cloves, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, whole black peppercorns, and salt in a slow cooker.  Cook on low setting 8-10 hours, stirring occassionally if possible.  [Note:  I flipped on the slow cooker before heading to work and the onions were perfectly caramelized and gorgeous when I came home about nine hours later.]

Increase heat of slow cooker to high.  Let heat increase for ten minutes.  Add balsamic vinegar and let cook off, about 4-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring chicken stock and beet cooking liquid to a simmer on the stove.  Add chicken stock and beet cooking liquid and let simmer at least an hour until flavors meld.

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One Response to “Slow Cooker Sweet Onion Soup”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Geauga Family Farms CSA – Week Seven « Kelseyincleveland's Blog - July 30, 2011

    […] fruit by stirring it into some plain Greek yogurt or by itself for a morning snack at work.  My slow cooker sweet onion soup used the gorgeous sweet onion from last week.  The sweet onions we’ve been receiving from […]

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