If you are a lover of onion soup, this slow cooker French onion soup will hit the spot. Adding white beans to the soup gives it more chewiness and richness – and some protein! Make an easy topping with toast squares or croutons and your favorite vegan cheese and voila! It’s soup time!
This soup has the sweetness of carmelized onions, the chew of the white beans, the crunch of the toast or croutons and the richness of the cheese. Top this soup with delectable grilled cheese croutons or serve with a platter of cheezy vegan baguette slices. You can also use plain croutons, store bought or homemade, or squares of toast. I use rye toast squares. The bottoms of the toast squares get a little soft sitting on the soup, but it’s fine. Crunchy croutons work better and hold their crunch longer. But, we ate this soup three times using toast as a topper, so we weren’t too put off by it!
The first hour of the onions cooking in the slow cooker, I found the onions were not releasing any liquid and were slightly sticking. After one hour on high, I reduced my slow cooker to low for 1/2 hour, then returned it back to high once the onions released liquid. I occasionally checked the onions throughout cooking to stir them. But, if you want to cook the onions completely unattended, I’m sure they will be totally fine.
One half teaspoonful of salt may not seem like it would be enough for an entire pot of soup, but it somehow is! You won’t need to add any more salt, so be careful if you are tempted to before serving. Once you have broiled the soups and melted the cheese topping, you might want to sprinkle a little bit of dried or fresh thyme on the tops, along with vegan parmesan cheese.
I made an entire slow cooker of this soup, but we only ate it two bowls at a time. Keep the remainder of the soup in the refrigerator, then heat it in a saucepan before ladling it into ramekins each time. Simply add the croutons and cheese and broil the soups a few minutes before serving each time.
This recipe is adapted from one I found on The Busy Baker. If you are looking for soup recipes, you might have a look at my Soups page, too!
Slow Cooker French Onion Soup with Cannellini Beans
This soup has the sweetness of carmelized onions, chewy cannellini beans, the crunch of toast or croutons and rich vegan cheese. Top this soup with grilled cheese croutons or serve with a platter of cheezy baguette slices.
Add the sliced onions, melted butter and salt into the slow cooker on High setting.
Stir slightly to combine and cook for one hour on High. Check the slow cooker after an hour to stir the onions in case of sticking. Once the onions have produced liquid, they can go longer without being checked. If you feel they are sticking, turn the slow cooker to Low for a half hour to one hour, then return the setting to High for 2 to 3 hours more.
Slow cook the onions for a total of 3 to 4 hours, on High most or all of the time, until completely softened. The onions will have a sweet aroma.
Add the beans, oregano, thyme, black pepper, and vegetable broth to the crockpot. Gently stir to combine. Cook 2 more hours on High setting.
To serve, set oven safe bowls or ramekins on a baking sheet. Ladle the soup from the slow cooker into the bowls or ramekins.
Top the soup with croutons or toast pieces, and top those with a slice of vegan cheese.
Carefully move the baking sheet of soups into the oven. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until the cheese melts. Depending on what type of vegan cheese you use, the cheese may or may not bubble or brown.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and top each dish with dried or fresh thyme leaves. If desired, sprinkle with vegan parmesan, too. Serve immediately with your favorite bread or crackers.
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