OK, this would qualify as pretty much almost instant.
I dropped the frozen puck into the crock, splashed a little red wine in, added some bold beef stock, a little water, then nuked it with a lid on the crock for four minutes at 3/4 power. It was thoroughly heated through, the puck thawed, and too hot to handle with bare hands, so I guess it simmered for a bit. Then I dropped a layer of croutons in, two slices of Swiss, and placed it under the broiler of the toaster oven for a few minutes. Voila, French onion soup in about eight minutes.
The hardest part was getting the pucks out of the muffin tray. I had to use a mallet and even then they were a little "moist" from the hot water I set the pan in. Maybe a silicon muffin pan would work better. I won't have to worry about that again for 11 more crocks
Sorry for the blurry pic, it looked in focus when I snapped it, and then POOF
, the soup was gone