French Country Onion Soup with Short Ribs

I’m such a fan of an old fashioned recipe for French Onion Soup that this was a leap of faith and a good one. French Country Onion Soup with Short Ribs is heavenly!

French Country Onion and Short Rib Soup in a Yellow Soup Bowl

It’s been awhile; I don’t think in all the many years I’ve been blogging that I have not introduced something new in such a long period of time. Whether planned or not, I obviously needed a break from the never ending stress of this past year and this French Country Onion Soup with Short Ribs was my first foray back and a welcome one at that.

I’ve just finished sleeping almost 5 days straight when I’m lucky if normally I can get 6 hours of sleep each night. This is unheard of! I had been feeling a bit better and thought the weeks of dealing with pneumonia were finally over when the devastation from losing Abbie just took it’s toll and it came raging back with a vengeance.

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I was read the riot act when I finally went to the doctor again; get rest or get admitted to the hospital. Yikes! I shut everything off and tried to sleep and it was as if I was drugged.

I slept 21 straight hours that first day and then again…and again and now here I am feeling just a bit better; eager to grab hold of life again and yet wary enough to know I had better take it slow. I can no longer say I haven’t been sick in years; this had made up for every doggone one of them.

Maybe it is somehow prophetic that the one thing I managed to get made right before this downturn was this amazing French Country Onion Soup with Short Ribs. It has sustained me for the past two weeks and yet I was still sorry when I finished that last bowl.

I have a fabulous recipe for French Onion Soup that is such a great legacy from my hometown of St. Louis and I still love it but I can not deny; introducing short ribs into the mix has created not just some yummy beef to sink your teeth into but the most amazing broth ever. OMG good.

Short Ribs

Lucky for me, I have the sweetest friends in the meat biz at 5280Meat. Wouldn’t you love to open a box delivered to your door with those goodies shown above? The most gorgeous short ribs, sausage, pork chops and bacon all nicely refrigerated and boxed just for me.

It was a picker upper for sure and I wanted to do justice to the quality of this meat when I made something; how fortuitous that the recipe for this soup pretty much landed in my lap.


A friend on Facebook had just uploaded this photo of the same dish after she had completed it and I could almost taste it.

Hers was fit for a crowd and I loved both how she presented it and some of the minor revisions she had made to the original recipe; adding in a couple of cups of caramelized onion slices really did give it more of the French Onion Soup feel.

I took it a bit further even. My time honored recipe calls for refrigerating overnight and I’ve always trusted it. Not only do the flavors meld during that time, but it’s so easy to scoop off the fat that has hardened on the top. It means planning a day in advance but it’s all I know and I think totally worth it.

French Country Short Ribs and Onion Soup Cheeses

Adding to the moment of ‘this was meant to be’ was finding a box of Roth cheeses on my front porch. They could not have been more perfect. Although this recipe calls for Gruyere, that designation is much like the one that insists that only Champagne from one region in France can be called Champagne.

While only cheese from one region in France can be called Gruyere, other cheeses carry very similar flavor profiles so this American made cheese with the same nutty, creamy taste are designated differently but still carry a similar flavor profile.

I shredded a combination of the Grand Cru and the Grand Cru Reserve for the cheese topping and truth be told I could have eaten that wonderful, melty, cheesy topper on a piece of toast all by itself.

I don’t know about you but for me ‘Made in Wisconsin’ says way more to me than made in France. I’ve been to Wisconsin and it’s not all cheese-heads; it’s simply some of the best cheese in this country!

French Country Short Ribs and Onion Soup in Yellow Bowl

Maybe it’s starting to warm up where you are but nights are still cool in most places. I just saw a photo of a fireplace roaring with a bouquet of tulips in front of it…so don’t discount this French Country Onion Soup with Short Ribs and save it for next year. Make it now; so soul satisfying and I think a perfect antidote for a lousy winter; I am feeling a bit better now!

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French Country Onion Soup with Short Ribs | @creativculinary

French Country Short Rib Onion Soup

A savory combination of French onion soup and tender short ribs. Absolutely fantastic!
5 average from less than 50 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Course Beef, Main Course, Soups and Stews
Cuisine French
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 708 kcal


  • 4 pounds beef short ribs
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 14 ounces diced tomatoes or 1 can
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme minced

To Finish and Serve:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 onions thinly slices
  • 1 loaf French baguette cubed and toasted
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese or substitute, shredded


  • Preheat oven to 325º. Season short ribs with salt and pepper and dredge in flour.
  • Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Cook short ribs in the oil until golden brown and crusty; about four minutes per side. Remove from oil and put on plate. Set aside.
  • Reduce heat to medium and cook onions and carrots in leftover fat from ribs. Cook for five minutes. Add garlic, red wine, tomatoes, broth, herbs and short ribs. Cover with lid and place in oven. Cook for two and a half hours or until meat falls off the bones.
  • Remove meat and place on a dish to cool; once cooled remove and shred the beef and return to the pot.
  • Refrigerate the pot (overnight is great if possible) until the fat has hardened on top and the flavors have had time to meld. Using a large spoon, remove the solid fat on top and discard.

To Finish

  • Warm the pot with meat and vegetables over medium low heat.
  • Heat a large skillet over med heat and add 2 Tbsp butter and the sliced onions and saute until onions are caramelized and golden brown (10-15 minutes).
  • Add the caramelized onions to the warmed stew and stir. Portion into oven safe bowls. Top with a toasted bread slice and shredded cheese.
  • Broil for approximately 5 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly. WATCH CLOSELY!


Nutrition Facts
French Country Short Rib Onion Soup
Serving Size
1 Serving
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword chicken soup, dinner, French, lunch, onion soup, short ribs
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. Thanks for sharing this recipe, it sounds and looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it out for myself. It was back down into the mid 30’s again last night, so the time is right for some comforting soup! Dogs and cows (yes, cows believe it or not) are super companions. I still miss several of my pals I’ve lost. Continue to rest and take care of yourself!

    1. It’s wonderful Kim and thanks…I still miss her so much; no one more surprised than me how much every little thing reminds me of her; even the annoying things! I finally cleaned off the bottom of the sliding glass doors where her nose always left their mark and sobbed thinking I’ll never do it again! I do look forward to some freedom and now that I’m starting to feel better (thanks for that too) I expect I’ll enjoy that aspect a bit more.

    1. The broth was flat out amazing Pat; it also has some other veggies in the mix so it was different but so good; which I’ve said like a billion times…but it’s true! 🙂

  2. Our bodies certainly have a way of telling us that we need to stop everything, that we need down time in order to recover from all that it has been through.. I’m sorry to hear that you were so ill but relieved to read that you are feeling on the mend. You have been through a hell of a lot over the past year+ and I hope that you take your recovery very slow. Time to take good care of you and truly pamper yourself with lots of rest and yes, great soups like this one. I’m glad your Dr. gave you a strict warning and I’m happy that you listened to him/her. *Jump* back into your routine with great care. We all want you fully back to the Barb we know and love, but in good time. XOX

    1. I told someone yesterday that I’m my own worst enemy Paula; I have way too much to do and I just kept doing it. Maybe not full speed but I really did not give into being sick and paid the price. It has been one hell of a year, I can’t deny; simply way too much for this one person. Now my youngest is moving to Vegas but at least there is some joy in that she found a great job…just will be weird to have both of my kids living elsewhere. All those years of single parenting and now they’re gone. I know that happens but to have them both move in 3 months? Priceless! I am feeling a need to do some pampering for myself; thanks for the encouragement! xoxo

  3. Glad to hear you are feeling better, Barb. Pneumonia isn’t something you mess with. Hopefully you will get stronger and stronger.
    This soup sounds wonderful! I love French onion so this one already appeals to me and with beef, I can imagine the broth!
    Take care of yourself, and hopefully see you soon.


    1. It was a bear; when I saw you guys for lunch I thought I was progressing but the grief over Abbie was just too much and my poor immune system wasn’t up to the challenge. I am feeling better and that’s a great feeling! Thanks so much for your kind words; they all help! XO

  4. I’ve been thinking about you and I was sure that your absence was due to grief. You deserve that time and we are all here for you. Glad to see your face in my inbox.

    Now this soup sounds full of flavor and oozing with cheese. Perfection in a bowl.

    1. I knew I would miss her Maureen but had no idea the impact it would have on me. I think of her and shed a few tears everyday; for the silliest reasons too. I decided to wash down the bottom of the sliding glass doors today; you know, where her nose always made the bottoms a mess. Made me cry and yet…I hated that mess! She was a good, sweet dog; I sort of figure she deserves the tears so I’m not beating myself up too much for shedding them. You are so sweet; thanks.

    1. Would probably take me years to actually catch up but I obviously needed a lot of sleep and glad to finally get some! Amazing how that helps you heal isn’t it? Soup is totally divine; hope you make some for yourself!

  5. Glad to see you back! Sorry you were out of action, but sometimes just shutting down things and resting is the best thing to do. Sounds like this was one of those times. Anyway, terrific soup! I make onion soup often, but never included short ribs. Love the idea! What a hearty soup. Sounds totally delish. Not to mention good stuff. 😉 Thanks for this.

  6. That looks like the most comforting food of all. Glad to hear you’re on the mend. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Abbie. Our cocker spaniel is also elderly and we almost lost her once already. There’s nothing like the pain from the loss of a pet–part of your family. You’re in my thoughts.

    1. It was heartbreaking Carrie and I won’t deny I miss her every single day but she gave us 15 great years; we’re the lucky ones. The cat is not the same!! 🙂

  7. Barb, it has been a long few months for you and I am hopeful that you are on your way to much improved health. This soup would certainly help! Let me know when you are ready to get out and about and we’ll plan to get together. Take care of yourself!! Holly

  8. So good to see you back here, Barb, and to know that you’re feeling better! What a fantastic recipe to come back with, too. It’s certainly still cool enough here in the evenings to enjoy this delectable soup.

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