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French Onion Soup with Homemade Beef Stock

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While making the beef stock from scratch is time consuming, it really makes for a fabulous soup! Of course you can always buy beef stock too (if you are in a bit of a hurry)! This serves 4 as a main course with crunchy French bread and a simple side salad (try mixing tender butter lettuce, sweet green and red leaf lettuce, some crunchy iceberg, confettied light green cabbage and grated carrot with candied pecans and a light balsamic or Italian dressing).

Ingredients {{adjustedServings}} servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 865 kcal
  • 43%
  • Fat:
  • 40.7 g
  • 63%
  • Carbs:
  • 82.5g
  • 27%
  • Protein:
  • 42.1 g
  • 84%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 136 mg
  • 45%
  • Sodium:
  • 1320 mg
  • 53%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet


  1. Place the water, beef ribs, parsnips, onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme into a large soup pot over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, skimming and discarding the foam that forms on the top of the broth, until the broth is a rich brown color, 5 to 6 hours. Broth may be made in a slow cooker. Strain the broth, discard the ribs and vegetables, and refrigerate extra broth.
  2. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet or cast iron pan over medium-low heat, and cook the onions and garlic until caramelized and brown, about 30 minutes. Mix flour, herbes de Provence, paprika, and garlic powder together in a bowl, and sprinkle the flour mixture over the browned onions. Cook and stir 5 minutes; add salt and black pepper to taste, and mix in parsley and 1 more teaspoon of thyme.
  3. Pour in 4 cups of beef broth, white wine, sherry, and hot pepper sauce; simmer until the flavors have blended and the soup has thickened, at least 15 minutes. More time couldn't hurt.
  4. About 15 minutes before serving time, preheat oven's broiler, and place a rack about 6 inches from the heat source.
  5. Brush the slices of French bread with flavored olive oil, and toast under the preheated broiler until well browned on each side, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Ladle soup into ovenproof soup bowls, and place a toasted bread slice on top of each bowl. Sprinkle each bread slice evenly with Gruyere cheese.
  6. Place the filled soup bowls under the broiler until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and browned, 2 to 4 minutes or as needed.
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I took a stock class at the local college. Before boiling the bones roast them until they are a deep dark brown. Then simmer with veggies. A very LOW simmer. Bubbles barely break the surface. Time consuming but worth it. In a pinch there are a couple of new "bold stocks" in a box that work very well.


This is a bit time consuming, but the results are very much worth the wait. I didn't discard the veggies, though. They had way too much flavour left in them. I puréed them in my blender, and made a cream of veggie soup that we had the next day. It was awsome! Thanks for this wonderful (and wonderfully flavored) recipe. This is definately a keeper!


In my quest for the perfect onion soup, I came across this recipe. I am sorry to say that it just did not work for us. It is far removed from the classic french onion soup that we all think of. It was time consuming, which I can handle if the rewards and effort pay off. I think that the parsnips were too strong in the stock. I was attracted to this because it sounded so healthy with all the veggies. The color was lacking even though I browned the beef first. I think that some amount of red wine is vital to rceipe or it is just not french onion soup. I will continue on my quest but do thank you for you spuring me on and for a good stock for vegetable soup.