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Department Store Onion Soup

Rated as 4.59 out of 5 Stars

"This is an awesome French Onion Soup made at some of the old Famous Barr Department Store Cafeterias."
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2 h 55 m servings 369
Original recipe yields 12 servings


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  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over low heat. Add the onions; cook, stirring occasionally for 1 1/2 hours.
  2. When the onions are ready, add the pepper, salt, bay leaf and flour. Stir over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour in the beef broth and white wine. Simmer for 2 hours over low heat. Adjust the coloring to a rich brown with the browning sauce. Taste, and adjust salt if needed.
  3. Preheat your oven's broiler. Ladle the soup into oven-proof bowls, and place them on a baking sheet. Float a slice of French bread in each bowl, and top with some Swiss cheese. Broil until cheese is browned. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 369 calories; 14.3 43.4 14.7 37 1514 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 59
  1. 70 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

A St Louis favorite! This is well worth trying. If you don't have the browning sauce but have a hearty beef broth you'll be fine.

Most helpful critical review

I really tried to like this recipe but there is way too much paprika and the directions need to be clearer. I thought something was wrong noting to cook the onions 1.5 hours but it is right and ...

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A St Louis favorite! This is well worth trying. If you don't have the browning sauce but have a hearty beef broth you'll be fine.

Very, very good. This is a much heartier French onion soup than my previous recipe, which I seem to have misplaced. This and a salad actually filled my husband. I found the salt level to be ple...

I have been making this soup for the past 20 years and there is no other like it! The addition of the paprika adds a richness both in color and in taste and I often find myself adding more than...

Delicous and always hits the spot! If you have homemade beef stock use it, otherwise use 1/2 canned chicken broth and 1/2 canned beef broth. Canned beef broth can get too tinny tasty when redu...

Rob, there's no doubt that this is an excellent FOS recipe. I used low sodium beef broth, red wine (didn't have white) and added a few more seasonings. The recipe called for paprika, but I didn'...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I grew up with Famous Barr and I'm 59 years old! Their French Onion soup was a "must" for lunchtime shoppers and this IS IT!!! I followed the recipe exactly and wasn't dis...

This was so much better than most of the onion soups I've ever had out!! Wow!! I made a huge batch of this (6x? can't remember now) for a church "SoUUper Sunday", and it was a huge hit. Every la...

Just made this today, and it's a great recipe! We just moved in, so we didn't have wine or a bay leaf (had to borrow the flour!), but it's a easy, hardy soup to make for a cold rainy day. Now if...

It's true, you do need to cook the onions for at least an hour. I used mozzarella instead of swiss, also skipped the browning sauce. It's great with the white wine (don't skip that!).