Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Ya’ll know I love soups already right?  That is a well established Cajun Mama fact at this point.  Split pea and ham soup, vegetable beef soup…I LOVE SOUP!!!  Know what I love more?  Soup that cooks in the crock pot.  And french onion soup is probably my favorite of them all.  Outback Steakhouse had the best I had ever eaten, but it seems like last time I went they didn’t have it anymore.  Then darkness fell all around me.  Mostly I am kidding, but I do love me some french onion soup.  I have never attempted to make it before…until last night.  I came across a recipe on pinterest for a version made in the slow cooker and I just could not pass it up.  I am very glad I didn’t because it is simply AWESOME my friends!!!  So I will end the chit chat and just give up the goods.  AKA the recipe.  I know that is all ya’ll want anyway.  Right?

First, a few things about this recipe.  I halved it.  It made plenty for me and Big Daddy.  There is enough for at least 4 or 5 nice sized servings with the recipe cut in half.  Also, I need some individual crocks or oven safe soup bowls for the next time I make this.  I made do with what I had, but to get that beautiful brown baked in color on the top of the cheese you need to stick this in the oven before you serve it.  Just a suggestion.  So I will give you the recipe cut in half and you can double it if necessary.  Also I used my 4.5 quart crock pot for this.

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup (Adapted from http://www.getcrocked.com)

Ingredient List

3 sweet yellow onions or Vidalia onions if you can find them, thinly sliced

1/4 cup of red wine (I used what I had which was some sweet red and it was perfect)

1/2 stick of butter (or 1/4 cup)

1 Tablespoon flour

1/2 tsp. sugar

1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

2 cans of beef broth

kosher salt and black pepper

1 cup of water

1 French baguette

4 slices Swiss cheese

Directions

Now…melt your butter in your slow cooker.  Just put your stick of butter in the slow cooker and turn it on high, put on the lid and let the butter melt.  This took about 20 minutes for me…I suppose you could just melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl and then pour it into the slow cooker.  Duh.  Lol!  I just thought about that.  Anyway, once the butter is melted,   whisk in the sugar and then stir in your thinly sliced onions and stir to coat the onion slices with the melted butter.  Now cover the slow cooker and let the onions cook for about 2-3 hours on low.  They are basically going to caramelize in the slow cooker and will be a beautiful golden brown when you are done.  Next, stir in the flour into the onion juices.  Then stir in the red wine, beef broth, water, Worcestershire, garlic, bay leaf, and salt and pepper.  Give it a stir and return lid.  Let this cook on HIGH for about an hour and then switch it to low for another hour.  Now, I just left it on low for about 2 more hours and it was all good.

Cut 4 1 inch thick  slices of bread from the baguette.*  Toast the bread on a baking stone or baking sheet at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the bread slices are a nice toasted brown.

Ladle soup into 4 oven safe bowls.  Place a piece of toasted bread on top of the soup.  Next lay a slice of cheese on top of the bread.  Bake in 425 degree oven for 10 minutes or just until cheese is melted and bubbly.   You can put all of the soup bowls on a baking sheet and transfer them to and from the oven that way if that makes it easier.  Definitely keep an eye on them, you will know when they are ready.

I cut 8 slices because my baguette was really thin.  I couldn’t find anything thicker.  I used 2 slices of bread per soup bowl.

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French onion perfection…

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Southern Chicken salad

So apparently today is National Sandwich Day so the fact that I was already planning to post a recipe for the MOST DIVINE chicken salad under the sun is simply a coincidence.  A wonderful coincidence, but anyway…this chicken salad is heavenly.  I have made it twice in the past 4 days and both batches disappeared in less than 24 hours.  This stuff is magnificent.  Poor Big Daddy, yesterday he calls me after an appointment and says “I think I have my mind set on one of those chicken salad sandwiches”.  I had to say “babe sorry, there is no more”.  The disappoint in his voice was pitiful but he forged ahead and I promised him I would make more.  And I did.  And now it is all gone again.  So just in case I have any fellow chicken salad lovers out there, I figured I would make this hump day/National Sandwich Day an extra special one.  Ya’ll ready for this?  Yeah I figured.

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So pretty, don’t you think?

Southern Chicken Salad (adapted from Debbie Lawrence @ http://drmommyonline.com)

Serves 6

Prep time 10 minutes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup Duke’s mayonaisse (she didn’t specify this…that is mine because its the best! But feel free to use whatever kind you want)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 1/2 cups diced, roasted, or boiled chicken

1 cup finely diced celery

1/3 cup chopped pecans (I added about 1 cup total because we really like them)

1/3 cup diced red grapes (again I put more…it makes it even better)

Directions

In a medium sized  bowl, whisk together mayo, lemon juice and kosher salt.  Add in the diced chicken and give it a good toss to let the mayo mixture coat the chicken.  Then fold in pecans, celery and grapes.  That’s it.  Your done.  I served mine on a bakery croissant with a leaf of romaine lettuce.  Perfection!!!

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You want one too, don’t you?