This is the easiest recipe of Famous Barr French Onion Soup for me

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French Onion Soup from Famous & Barr in St. Louis, Missouri. Nothing is as reminiscent of Famous as this iconic French onion soup. The soup was thick and rich, bubbling with melted cheese atop two slices of French baguette.

As the stores closed their restaurants, it was fortunate that many years ago the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published the recipe in their Food Section so fanatics of this soup could recreate their obsession at home!

This is the easiest recipe of Famous Barr French Onion Soup for me

  • Ingredients
  • 5 lbs. med white onions
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 C flour
  • 3 – 32oz containers (8cans) of beef broth (I’ve also used a combination of beef (64 oz) and chicken broth (32 oz) and it has actually been my favorite result.)
  • 1 C white wine
  • Salt to season
  • 16 oz. Gruyere cheese (can substitute Swiss which I typically do), shredded
  • Olive Oil
  • Parmesan
  • 1 French Baguette, sliced


To Prepare the Soup:

  • Slice the onions ⅛” thick. Melt butter in a large pot and sauté the onions over low heat for 1½ – 2 hours.
  • Add seasonings; pepper, paprika and bay leaves. Mix well and saute on low for 2-3 minutes; stirring frequently.
  • Add ⅔ of the broth to the pot and stir well. And the flour to the remaining broth and mix thoroughly and then add to the pot, stirring in.
  • Add wine and simmer 2 hours.
  • Refrigerate overnight.

To Serve:

  • Turn on oven to broil.
  • Brush bread slices with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Lightly brown bread using the broiler watching very carefully so not to burn.
  • Heat soup on stove top.
  • Layer soup, then Parmesan toasted bread, then cheese in ovenproof bowls.
  • Broil until cheese melts; 3-5 minutes. Watch carefully!
  • Let cool for a couple of minutes before eating.

Nutrition Information

Yield 16
Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving

Calories 834
Total Fat 51g
Saturated Fat 23g
Trans Fat 1g
Unsaturated Fat 22g
Cholesterol 196mg
Sodium 511mg
Carbohydrates 31g
Fiber 3g
Sugar 8g
Protein 58g

This is the easiest recipe of Famous Barr French Onion Soup for me

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  1. Gary Chappell

    I grew up across the river and remember going to Famous Bar many times with my mom. Was 12 first time I tried the French onion soup. Sounded gross but mom said I would like it. I was hooked. Had the Post recipe but lost it. Thanks for bringing recipe back. I will make it soon.

  2. laura singer

    Would be lovely if you made it possible to print without all the other “stuff”!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks

    1. Brooke

      Yes, I was looking for the “print” option as well, I agree with your post. It would be a nice option to have. For now, I will jot it down on a recipe card.

      1. Weezee

        Convert to browser in the 3 dots and print from there ?

  3. Nancy

    OMG, I love this soup. Great memories from back in the day, going to Famous shopping and topping off the day with this great soup. Thank you, I will definitely be making this.

  4. Martha

    My grandma lived in Granite City. We would take the bus over to shop. Lunch at the Rose Room and then afternoon ice cream at Stix where she would change shoes so we could do more shopping. Thank you for this awesome recipe!

  5. Karla

    I have always been a fan of French Onion soup. I saw this recipe and it intrigued me because it didn’t seem like your usual recipe.
    I was not a big fan of the paprika, it seemed while it was cooking, that is what i smelled most. I definitely wanted to try the adding of flour to the broth. Well i don’t think i am a fan of how it makes the soup taste milkier or maybe it’s just a texture i am not used to in this soup. My other observation was the onions. It was a lot of thinly sliced onions in one pot, and after 1 – 1/2 hours they still weren’t caramelized and i think that adds a richer flavor to the soup. I ended up caramelizing two additional onions the next day to add flavor. I also added a bit of sherry and two teaspoon of Caramelized onion Better than bouillon. I just had some for lunch and it was tasty, but not sure i would make again.
    I don’t usually leave comments, but i always enjoy reading comments to find suggestions by other readers after they have made the recipe so just wanted to pass this along.

  6. Brooke

    I will be making this for the first time! Thank you for sharing and I will post to you as to how this turned out. I am making it for my friend who is 99 (very healthy), has traveled the world and has a taste for excellent cuisine. I am excited for him to try this and to give him the background as well.