Chef Matt Conroy makes a hearty beef broth that becomes the foundation for his richly flavored classic French onion soup. If you make the broth a day in advance and refrigerate it, it’s supereasy to skim off the cold solidified fat, and you’ll have a soup with a clearer onion flavor. Plus:  More Soup Recipes 

April 2015


Credit: © Dana Cowin

Recipe Summary test

1 hr
2 hrs




Make the beef broth
  • Preheat the oven to 450°. Arrange the bones on a baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, until browned. Transfer to a very large pot and add all of the remaining ingredients. Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat, skimming as necessary, until reduced by half (to 3 1/2 quarts), about 1 hour. Strain the broth into a large bowl and skim off the fat.

Meanwhile, start the soup
  • In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until deep golden, about 1 hour. Season with salt.

  • Stir the butter into the onions until melted. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the flour is incorporated and the onions are sizzling, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the beef broth and bouquet garni and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced to 10 cups, about 35 minutes. Discard the bouquet garni. Stir in the Cognac and vinegar and season the soup with salt and pepper.

  • Preheat the broiler. Ladle the soup into 6 ovenproof bowls set on a baking sheet. Top with toasted baguette slices. Toss the cheeses together and sprinkle over the bread. Broil 6 inches from the heat for 7 to 8 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden. Garnish with chives and pepper and serve.

Make Ahead

The broth and caramelized onions can be made 2 days ahead and refrigerated separately. Remove all of the fat from the beef broth before making the soup.