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Slow Cooked Fennel Soup au Gratin

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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.
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