Slow Cooker Onion and Thyme Soup

Super simple soup 🙂

I’ve tried to make French Onion Soup in the past but I don’t have enough patience to caramelise onions – I always end up burning them! Last weekend I decided to see if the slow cooker could replicate the caramelisation enough to make soup from the bag of onions that I had in my pantry. (I bought them a couple of weeks back on special but hadn’t even used one.)

My aim was to use as few ingredients as possible, and the result was surprisingly flavourful. The addition of the thyme really freshens up the soup – you can use dried thyme if you don’t have any fresh.

I sprinkled my bowls of soup with some grated cheese and just let the heat of the soup melt the cheese. If you have oven-proof soup bowls then you can put them under the grill (broiler) to get the traditional golden melted cheese.

This makes a lot of soup – easily 8-10 serves. You can store it in an airtight container for a few days with no problems.

Ingredients – serves 8-10:

  • 1kg/2 lbs brown onions, peeled
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 beef stock cubes
  • 7 cups hot water
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • grated cheese and crusty bread, to serve
  • fresh thyme leaves, optional, to serve


  • Thinly slice your pile of onions. If you have a food processor then use it as it will only take a minute to slice all the onions.
  • Spray the ceramic bowl of your large slow cooker with a little cooking spray. (My slow cooker is 6 litres/quarts.)
  • Put the onions into the bowl of the slow cooker. Add the sugar and garlic. Crumble 2 of the beef stock cubes over the onions, then stir.
  • Pour 2 cups of the hot water over the onions.
  • Cook on low for 4-5 hours, stirring every couple of hours to ensure the onions cook evenly.
  • Add the final stock cube, the remainder of the water and the thyme.
  • Cook on high for an hour.
  • Ladle the soup into your serving bowls and then top with a small amount of grated cheese. The heat of the soup will melt the cheese. If you have oven-proof bowls then you can use the grill (broiler) to melt the cheese. Serve topped with a few extra fresh thyme leaves, if you have them, and with crusty bread on the side.
  • Enjoy!

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