Slow Cooker French Onion Soup,

-9 was the temperature of on my last snowboarding run on Sunday. 6 was the number of layers I wore in attempt to stay warm. 2 is the number of spots I have on my cheek that may or may not be frostbite. And as of last night, I am now the proud owner of 1 new neck gaiter.

Frigid doesn’t cut how cold it’s been in Utah this past week. I don’t remember a cold spell like the one we’ve been experiencing. It’s rare that the temperature drops below zero here and we’ve been in the negative for a good week now. According to my Dad, if I had any sense, I’d stay indoor when it was this cold. But because it snowed two feet in 48 hours, any sense I did have vanished quickly.

Frostbitten nose & cheek,

Three days in a row on the mountain in the brutal cold didn’t bode well for my face but it did inspire me to pull out my slow cooker and I’ve come up with a few new recipes so in the end I can’t be too upset. Frost bite for French Onion is a fair trade, no? Yeah, probably not but I’m just trying to make myself feel better. So go with me on this one.

Crock Pot French Onion Soup,

One of my all time favorite soups in French Onion. I love the slow cooked onions that melt in your mouth and I equally love the deep, meaty flavored broth. (Lordy that sounded naughty, my apologies.) What I don’t love is the often soggy bread that accompanies the bowl of soup and *gasp* all that cheese. I know I might be alone on this one but I think more times that when French Onion is served the proportions are off- too much cheese and not enough oniony soupy goodness.

Lighter French Onion Soup,

I put the onions in the base of the slow cooker with a little butter and set it to high for 75 minutes. With the exception of having to stir them occasionally, the crockpot did all the work! I added the short list of other ingredients, turned the slow cooker down to low and 6 hours later, dinner was served. My house smelled amazing and it’s just what you want after a cold day on the mountain!

Hope you’re all staying warm!

Slow Cooker (and Lighter) French Onion Soup

A lighter version of French Onion made in the slow cooker for an easy soup that's perfect on a cold winters day!


  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 4 large sweet onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 6 slices whole wheat bread (or something similar)
  • 6 oz shredded Jarlsberg or other mild Swiss cheese (or more if you like!)


  1. Add melted butter, sliced onions, garlic, and brown sugar to the base of the slow cooker. Turn to high and, stirring occasionally, let onions caramelize for 60-75 minutes.
  2. When onions are nice and soft and starting to turn golden (they won't get brown), add sherry, beef broth, fresh thyme and bay leaf. Turn slow cooker down to low and let soup cook for 6-8 hours. (soup can be made in advance to this point and stored in refrigerator until ready to serve.)
  3. When ready to serve the soup, divide French Onion in 6 1-1/2 cup ramekins or bowls. If you've made soup in advance, make sure to warm it up so it's piping hot.
  4. Cut bread into a circle (or similar shape) to fit inside each ramekin. Toast the bread in a conventional toaster or the like until nice and golden brown. Place one toasted wheat bread circle in each bowl of soup and top with a tablespoon of grated Jarlsberg. (feel free to use more!)
  5. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and place under a broiler for just about 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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32 Responses to Slow Cooker (and Lighter) French Onion Soup

  1. Kalyn says:

    Kelly, this sounds amazing. Just bookmarked to feature on the slow cooker blog (I assume that is ok?)

  2. You’re braver than I am. I wouldn’t even think about going skiing on these cold days. The soup does sound like a perfect way to warm up.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Love this idea. I for one, like bread on the side or heavily toasted first with little cheese. In fact, I’m totally fine without it šŸ™‚

  4. Girl, no matter how cold it is I am out there too! Would be great to warm up with this soup šŸ™‚

  5. Oh yes, you’ve got to have the neck gaiter. I’ve been using mine while running during these temps. I love the lighter version of this soup…you can never go wrong with French onion.

  6. I really need to dust off my slower cooker and start saving myself some time and have things like this waiting for me!

  7. This looks wonderful! I’m just down the hill in Salt Lake and also astounded by the cold weather. I hate driving to work when it’s 3 degrees out! I’m excited to warm up with some of this soup!

  8. This is a great idea. I love French Onion soup, but don’t always have the time to simmer the onions for hours…

    -11 Monday at my house.


  9. Karista says:

    You are just too darn cute!! And gorgeous of course, but cute as a bug in your snow gear. šŸ™‚ You look about 16. Love this slow cooker French Onion Soup. I’m so making this one!

  10. Oh wow! This soup looks ridiculous! French onion is one of my faves but I never think to do it in a crockpot.

    O.K., now this might sound braggy but I’ll say it anyways. Thank you for reminding me how cold the cold can get! We moved from Canada to Florida 4 years ago and this time of year I often wax poetic about how much I miss the cold and the snow. But you just reminded me that I don’t really miss it that much. Just a little bit. Well, maybe a bit less than that. (I do miss the outdoor sports though. Always will.)

  11. Liren says:

    Wow, you are a trooper! I love skiing, but I do admit, when temps get that cold, I would retreat right away. Even in temperatures around 20 degrees, I always wear a face shield! But what a treat to return to – I have been craving French Onion soup and love how this is done in the slow cooker!

  12. Emily says:

    I was just wondering how many this serves?

  13. Stefanie says:

    This was delicious! My kids are on an Alpine racing team and we often eat in shifts between practices. This was easy to make and my husband and I could grab some whenever one of us got home. Thank you!

  14. What a glorious soup! I’m sure cooking it low and slow just adds to the depth of flavor! YUM!

  15. Purple Piggie says:

    I’m making this tomorrow! Can you believe the snow is still 3 feet deep in my front yard in Manitoba in April? When will it end? In the meantime, I’m looking forward to nice warm soup!

  16. Kimberly says:

    Do you think red wine would be an ok substitute for the sherry?

  17. Barbara says:

    Iā€™m not sure what may have gone wrong with this recipe. For the first two hours I tried to caramelize the onions to a golden brown with the lid on the slow cooker and all I got was soft onions and onion juice. Then I thought maybe I should have had the lid off, so for another two and a half hours I had the lid off. No difference. I gave up and just added the broth and other ingredients. Not sure how you can caramelize and make onions golden in a slow cooker.

  18. I love onion soup!! It’s wonderful. Thanks for the recipe.

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