Weekend Cooking with Best Fish Reads allows me to get one last post in for this year's Paris in July event with Thyme for Tea.
During the winter months I love my slow cooker, but I've never tried to use it to make soup. This weekend I felt inspired to give it a shot.
I have a wonderful Slow Cooking book by Aussie kitchen legend, Margaret Fulton.
We've enjoyed her Osso Bucco, Lamb Pilaf, Lamb Shanks and Beef Stroganoff over the years and I've used her chicken and beef stock recipes as a basis for making my own stock.
I always find her recipes easy to follow, using ingredients I usually have to hand with the end results guaranteed yummy for the whole family (although I always add a little more herb and spice than she recommends).
In honour of Paris in July, I decided to try her French Onion Soup (soupe a l'oignon).
Onion soup dates back to Roman times and was considered the poor person's soup.
In the 18th century, the French developed the modern recipe we all know and enjoy.
Legend has it that it was actually King Louis XV who made the first French Onion soup from the only ingredients to be found in his hunting lodge - butter, onions and champagne.
The gratin and gruyere cheese version familiar to most Francophiles is a modern invention.
As with all her recipes, Fulton's French Onion Soup was easy to prepare and cook.
The aroma of the caramelising onion and butter was divine.
I added some sprigs of thyme during the slow cooking phase because I simply have to have more flavour.
I also added some parsley, croutons and parmesan cheese at the end, but decided against gratinising it as I was too hungry to wait any longer.
It was delicious, although a I found that a little goes a long way. The sweetness of the caramelised onions was a little overbearing at times.
One recipes I read (for comparison) suggested using water instead of stock to get a more traditional flavour. I might try that version next.
I will also definitely explore adding more spices like pepper and garlic next time to give my savoury taste buds a break from the sweetness.