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Big Flavors from your Small Appliances

French Onion Soup
Appliance: Slow Cooker - 4 quarts and larger
Optional: Contact Grill - 2 servings or larger See Note
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This Classic, gluten free recipe is part of the Pot Luck Collection
For the Caramelized Onions:
   3 pounds onions (about 4 large), peeled and sliced
   4 tablespoons cooking oil
   1 teaspoon salt

For the Soup:
   2 cloves garlic, finely minced
   8 cups beef stock (homemade or lower sodium canned)
   2-3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
   1 large bay leaf
   3 tablespoons sherry (optional)
   Salt and pepper (to taste)

To Serve:
   Gruyere, Emmantal or Fontina cheese, finely shredded (optional)
   Croutons (freshly grilled bread); see Note (optional)

For the Caramelized Onions:
In the crock or inner bowl of your slow cooker, toss onion slices and oil until all pieces are separated and coated. Your hands may work best for this. Stir in salt. Cover and cook on Low for 12 hours (overnight works well).

For the Soup:
Stir garlic into onions. Add beef stock, thyme, bay leaf and sherry (if using), stir and cover. Cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or High for 3 to 4 hours. Remove bay leaf and thyme stems. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To Serve:
Ladle soup into bowls and top with shredded cheese. Place croutons on top of the cheese, and allow to rest a minute or two for the cheese to melt. Cheese can also be melted under a broiler, or lightly seared with a butane torch before topping with the bread. Placing cheese between bread and soup keeps the crouton crisp until the soup is served.

NOTE: Make fresh croutons (grilled bread) using your contact grill. Preheat grill to high. Use flat plates, if applicable. Brush both sides of sliced French bread with oil or butter. Grill until crispy, 2 to 4 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper, or rub with the cut half of a garlic clove. Sprinkle hot bread with a little additional cheese before topping soup.

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