Tips: Take the tears out of onion prep: Refrigerate whole, unpeeled onions for about 30 minutes before slicing or chopping. The cold “chills out” the sulfur compounds that can irritate your eyes and make you cry.
For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.
To make ahead: Refrigerate soup (Steps 1-2) for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Make cheese toasts before serving.
Equipment: 6- to 7-quart slow cooker
4 vegetable, 1 1/2 fat, 1/2 high-fat protein, 1/2 starch