Homemade French Onion Soup

3 Slow Cooked Winter Soups That Are Worth Every Minute

Winter is the perfect time for making soup.  Those cold and dreary days where you just don’t feel like going out and braving the elements are a great time to pull out the Dutch Oven and spend the day whipping up a hearty meal.

We picked three of our favorite winter soup / stew recipes to share with you below. All three are meals that we make for our families and friends, year after year. If you make them, let us know what you think. If you change them, and they turn out better, we’d love to hear that as well.

Hungarian Beef Goulash (Serves 8-10)

Hungarian Beef Goulash with Spaetzle

  • 2-1/2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch piece
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 – 14.5 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry red wine (We use Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 2 cups of beef broth with no added salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Spice mixture
    • ¼ cup Hungarian sweet paprika (If you want a spicier stew, you can mix ½ sweet paprika with ½ hot paprika)
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
    • 2 tsp caraway seeds, toasted and ground
    • 2 tsp salt

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat
  3. Place the flour and 1 tbsp of salt in a 1 gallon plastic bag and shake to mix.
  4. Pat the beef dry and place in the bag with the flour and salt to coat. Remove the coated beef to a plate and dispose of the remaining flour.
  5. When the oil is glistening, add the coated beef to the oil and brown on all sides. Work in batches if necessary.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, remove the browned beef to a dish and set aside.
  7. Add remaining tablespoon of oil to the Dutch oven and lower the heat to medium
  8. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes until they start to become soft, then add the peppers and garlic and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  9. Add the beef back to the Dutch oven, along with the tomato paste and spice mix and cook for another minute, stirring it all together until the tomato paste and spice mix coats everything evenly.
  10. Add the red wine to deglaze the Dutch oven, scraping all of the browned bits off of the bottom of the pot, continue until the bottom of the Dutch oven is mostly clean (about 1 minute) – this is where the really rich, rustic flavors come from.
  11. Add the stock, vinegar, sugar, and tomatoes and bring to a slow simmer.
  12. Remove from the heat, cover, and put the Dutch oven in the oven for 2-1/2 hours. You are cooking this stew at a low temperature, so the meat will not overcook in that time and will become more tender. Note: removing the lid after 2 hours will help the stew to thicken a little more.
  13. Serve over Spaetzle, Pappardelle, or Mashed Potatoes

French Onion Soup (Serves 6-8)

Homemade French Onion Soup

  • 6 large yellow onions
  • 2 cloves of minced or pressed garlic
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2-3 leaves of fresh tarragon, chopped (optional, but adds an interesting flavor. A little tarragon goes a long way though, so don’t add too much)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup of dry red wine
  • 8 cups of beef stock
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry
  • 8 ounces + 2 ounces of butter
  • 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour
  • salt & pepper
  • 8 slices of Gruyere cheese
  • 1 French baguette, sliced

 

  1. Melt the 8 oz of butter over medium heat until it starts to bubble.
  2. Add the onions, bay leaves, thyme, salt & pepper (to taste) to the pot and cook, stirring frequently until the onions develop a medium-dark carmelization (about 1 hour). If the onions start to dry out before caramelizing, keep adding water a tablespoon at a time and scraping the brown bits of the bottom of the pan.
  3. When the onions first start to brown, add the garlic.
  4. When the onions are sufficiently caramelized, lower the heat to medium-low. Add the tarragon, the remaining 2 oz of butter and the flour to the pan and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring the mixture frequently to coat cook all of the flour and coat the onions.
  5. Add the wine to the pot, raise the heat up to medium-high and cook for 1 minute until it starts to evaporate and the mixture starts to thicken.
  6. Add the beef broth and sherry and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Taste and re-season with salt and pepper if necessary.

To Serve

  1. Turn your broiler on
  2. Brush baguette slices (I do one whole slice per serving bowl, or you can cut them into croutons) with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Brown them on both sides under the broiler.
  3. Place a baguette slice at the bottom of each oven safe crock
  4. Ladle the soup over top of the baguette
  5. Place the slice of cheese over the crock so that it covers the soup and slightly overhangs the crock (you want the crusty cheese bits on the side, trust me – If it takes a slice and a half of cheese to cover the crock, so be it).
  6. Put under the broiler until the cheese melts, starts to bubble and brown slightly on top.
  7. Serve immediately.

Avgolemono (Greek Chicken Soup with Lemon, Rice, and Egg) – Serves 8-10

Avgolemono - greek chicken soup

Note: We use this recipe for homeChicken stock recipe: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chicken-stock-recipe-1915853

  • 8 cups of homemade chicken stock
  • 2 lbs of shredded, cooked chicken (if you have this from just making the stock, use it. Otherwise, buy 1-2 rotisserie chickens and use)
  • 1 chicken bullion cube
  • 6 cups of cooked rice (about 2 cups uncooked, but don’t cook in the soup or you won’t have enough liquid)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup minced dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crusty bread and good quality olive oil to finish

 

  1. In an 6 quart Dutch oven or saucepan, simmer your stock on medium heat until it comes to a slow simmer.
  2. Whisk together the eggs and lemon juice until it becomes foamy.
  3. Take 2 cups of the hot stock and, whisking constantly, slowly pour it into the egg mixture to temper it so that it doesn’t scramble. When the stock is added, pour the mixture back into the saucepan and continue whisking until the mixture starts to thicken.
  4. Lower the heat to low, add the chicken and rice, and stir until incorporated into the soup.
  5. Taste and re-season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
  6. Serve with a generous garnish of dill on top, a drizzle of olive oil, and a size of crusty bread.

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