How to Make Authentic French Onion Soup With Homemade Beef Stock

Updated on January 6, 2020
Melissa Althen profile image

Melissa is a certified food scientist with over 20 years in the food industry. New food development and matching are her specialties.

Delicious, authentic onion soup made with homemade beef broth.
Delicious, authentic onion soup made with homemade beef broth.

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5 stars from 2 ratings of French Onion Soup

How to Start With Homemade Beef Broth

Our ancestors always kept a pot of stock cooking. They threw whatever leftovers they had into it and used it to make soups and stews. French onion soup only has a few ingredients, but it's the quality of those ingredients that make the dish.

Many recipes call for pre-made beef stock. What sets this recipe apart is that we make the stock ourselves. This is the perfect chance to use up the leftover vegetables in your fridge.


  • 1+ lbs beef neck bone
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, rinsed, with tops, rough chopped
  • handful parsley
  • 4 green onions, ends removed, bottoms roughly chopped, tops thinly chopped and reserved
  • 4 qts water
  • 2 lbs yellow onion, sliced
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 4-6 slices French bread, toasted, then rubbed with garlic
  • 4 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded


  1. Heat 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil to medium-high in an 8 qt dutch oven. Add the beef neck bones and brown thoroughly on all sides. Salt and pepper to taste while cooking.
  2. Fill a stock pot (used strainer insert) with 4 qts water. Add the beef, carrot, celery, parsley, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and green onion bottoms. Cover with the lid off set to allow liquid to escape. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 6+ hours to release all of the flavor in the meat and vegetables.
  3. When the stock has 1 hour left, prepare the onions. A food processor with a slicing blade makes this a snap. Heat the same dutch oven with the oil and meat drippings to medium. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Salt and pepper the onion. Add the sugar and 2 Tbsp butter to the onions, lower the heat, and caramelize the onion for 20 minutes, stirring regularly.
  5. Add the wine and cook the onions on high 8-10 minutes until the liquid has reduced. Remove from heat.
  6. Strain the stock, and add to the caramelized onions. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook an additional hour. Preheat oven to a broil. *cut meat off bones and reserve for breakfast tacos.
  7. Portion soup into 4-6 oven proof bowls or ramekins placed on a cookie sheet. Top with a thick slice of French bread and cover with cheese. Broil until cheese starts to bubble. Top with green onion tops. Serve immediately.

Brown the Neck Bones for Your Stock

Add Vegetables to Build the Stock's Flavors

Caramelize the Onion

© 2017 Melissa Althen


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