Despite being at my parents house to enjoy their company before I move 800 miles away to Michigan, my mother appointed me cook for the duration of my stay. She wanted to have French onion soup for dinner one night, and wanted a particular recipe for the soup, a slow cooker version from Cook's Country. Since I haven't written a post in awhile, I leapt at the opportunity.
This soup is pretty good, but you probably want to be alone when you're doing the initial preparation-- slicing five pounds of onions and microwaving beef bones can leave a rather pungent smell wafting through the house, but once the onions get in the slow cooker, you'll be in heaven.
You start the recipe by microwaving the beef bones on HIGH until they turn brown (it took 8 minutes).
While those are cooking, put the butter in the slow cooker and set it to high, and then start slicing those onions!
Once the onions are all sliced, add them to the slow cooker along with 2 teaspoons of salt, the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of pepper, and the thyme.
Then it's time to add some unusual ingredients (unusual for French onion soup).
Mix together the flour, apple butter, sherry, and soy sauce until smooth (be patient and use a whisk). Then add the mixture to the onions and toss it all together.
Don't be scared-- you won't taste the apple butter at all.
Now, get those beef bones from the microwave and nestle them under the onions toward the outside edges of the slow cooker.
Check out that marrow!
Put the cover on the slow cooker and cook the onions on high for 5-7 hours (the original recipe instructs you to cook the onions for 10-12 hours, but the onions turned soft and golden brown after about 5 1/2 hours in my mom's cooker).
To finish the soup, remove the bones. In a pot on the stove top (or in the microwave) bring the beef broth to a boil, and then add it to the slow cooker. Continue cooking the soup until you're ready to eat. We served this with some good chewy, crusty bread and salad. If you're a traditionalist, feel free to ladle the soup into bowls, top with a slice of bread and some Gruyere cheese, and melt the cheese under the broiler (just make sure your dishes are broiler safe.
I was so excited to eat the soup, I forgot to snap a picture of it in the pretty serving bowls. At least I got a shot of the leftovers in the Gladware container before it went in the freezer!
Slow Cook French Onion Soup adapted from from Cook's Country (serves 6-8)
2 lbs. of beef bones (the bones I used weighed about 1 1/4 pounds)
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
5 lbs. of yellow onions, sliced into 1/4 pieces
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 cup apple butter
3/4 cup sherry
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 cups of beef stock
Salt & pepper