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Slow Cooked Fennel Soup au Gratin

Dry sherry adds just the right touch to this enjoyable soup that practically prepares itself in the slow cooker.  When ready to serve, each bowl is topped with a cheesy slice of toasted French bread to take it to the next level.

Ingredients

8 cups Swanson® Beef Broth

2 tablespoons dry sherry

2 teaspoons dried thyme, crushed

3 tablespoons butter

1 fennel bulb, sliced (about 4 cups)

2 large onion, sliced (about 4 cups)

8 slices French bread, about 1/2-inch thick

0.5 cup shredded Italian cheese blend(about 2 ounces)

Instructions

Stir the broth, sherry, thyme, butter, fennel and onions in a 5 1/2-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours or until the vegetables are tender.

Heat the broiler. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet. Top each bread slice with 1 tablespoon of the cheese. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 1 minute or until the cheese is melted.

Divide the soup mixture amoung 8 serving bowls. Top each with 1 cheese toast.