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    Panera Bread®French Onion Soup

    Source of Recipe

    by Todd Wilbur

    Recipe Introduction

    The 665 Panera Bread outlets in 35 states are famous for fantastic sandwiches, but it's this delicious French onion soup that gets most of the cloning requests. The biggest difference I find with Panera's formula versus other onion soup recipes is the inclusion of a small, almost undetectable, bit of tomato sauce. So, rather than opening up a whole can of tomato sauce to use just one tablespoon, I discovered that a bit of ketchup works perfectly. Panera Bread also makes their soup special by using sweet cream butter to sauté the onions, and just a bit of Tabasco pepper sauce in the pot to wake everything up. The croutons on top of the soup appear to made from the chain's foccacia bread that has been buttered, cubed, and toasted until crispy, but you can use any bread you may have on hand. As for the cheese on top, the menu says it's asiago-parmesan, but the cheese I tasted was more asiago than parmesan, so using plain asiago cheese (that's been shaved using a potato peeler) works like a charm.

    Recipe Link:

    List of Ingredients

    1/4 cup sweet cream butter
    8 cups sliced yellow onions (4 to 5 med. onions)
    2 14-ounce cans beef broth (I used Swanson)
    3/4 cup chicken broth (Swanson again)
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 tablespoon ketchup
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    couple drops Tabasco pepper sauce

    shaved asiago cheese
    Onions and croutons and cheese...oh, my.


    1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add sliced onions and sauté for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often, until onions turn brown.

    2. Add remaining ingredients (but not the garnish) to the pan and stir to combine. Heat soup until it's boiling, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

    3. Make croutons for the top of the soup by slicing foccacia bread (or any bread you may have) into 3/4-inch thick slices. Butter both sides of those slices, then cut the slices into bite-size cubes. Bake the bread in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes or until crispy. Shave some asiago cheese by simply dragging a potato peeler over the edge of a wedge of asiago.

    4. Serve the soup super hot with a handful of croutons floating on top followed by a couple tablespoons of shaved asiago cheese.




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