One of the things I love about the changing seasons is flipping through my recipe book and revisiting my favorite recipes from previous seasons. Since Friday marks winter solstice, it seems fitting to make a good hearty soup like my traditional French onion soup recipe, complete with homemade beef stock. The soup and the stock are pretty simple to make as long as you have some time at home on your hands. Let’s start with the beef stock recipe.
Beef Stock Recipe
First, place the following in a 9×13 roasting pan:
- 4 lbs. beef soup bones
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 cup chopped carrots
Transfer to a large pot. Pour some warm water in the roasting pan, scrape edges and pour mixture into the pot. Add:
- 2 celery stalks, sliced into thirds
- 1 can diced tomatoes or 1 large tomato
- 2 medium potatoes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
- 2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 12 cups water
Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce head and simmer for 4-5 hours. Strain stock, reserving 1 cup of the vegetables. If you prefer to keep your stock thin, just drain it as is. But if you want to thicken it up for French onion soup, then transfer 1 cup of vegetables (not too many potatoes though) and as much of the stock as you can fit into a blender. Blend until smooth. Mix with remaining stock. This will give your French onion soup a nice thick, velvety texture.
Now, on to the French onion soup!
French Onion Soup Recipe
Preheat oven to 400.
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 large white onions, sliced
- 4 cups beef stock
- 2 Tbsp. white wine
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- Pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 6 small slices stale French baguette
- 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
- Pinch of parsley
Melt butter in a large sauce pan.
Add onions. Cook on low 8-10 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.
Add beef broth and wine. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add pepper.
If you have oven safe bowls, divide soup among 4-5 bowls.
Top with bread, cheese and parsley and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is light brown.
Otherwise, toast bread and cheese in oven and then add to soup in separate bowls.
Serve along with your favorite roast, a salad or sandwiches. Enjoy!