Whenever I go to Panera Bread I have a bowl of their French Onion Soup. It is my absolute favorite soup and just thinking of it makes me hungry. I happened to find a copycat recipe of the soup that seemed easy, if a bit time consuming, and made a few adaptations. The results are well worth the trouble. Serve this with a sandwich or a salad and you will swear you are at Panera. Make the soup more authentic by making homemade croutons and sprinkling with some Asiago cheese. Sometimes, when I don’t have Asiago on hand, I shred mozzarellla to place on top. It’s still delicious.
Saute the onions for around fifteen minutes until they are golden brown. Tip: Be sure to stir the onions constantly or they will burn. This doesn’t enhance the flavor of the soup. I know this from experience. When the onions turn the golden brown color add all the other ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer twenty minutes. Note: You can adjust the salt and pepper in this recipe to suit your taste.
Homemade Croutons Recipe
Make your soup extra special by making home made croutons. To make the croutons, slice french bread into cubes and saute in a tablespoon of butter over medium heat. I suggest stirring them often to help coat them evenly and prevent burning on one side. If you want to get extra fancy, add a seasoning, like a sprinkle of garlic powder, to the butter. Voila! Easy garlic croutons.
Do you need a Gluten free option? Omit the flour and substitute with 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch. Make the croutons with gluten free french bread or omit the bread entirely.
- ¼ cup butter
- 8 cups sliced yellow onions (4 med. onions)
- 1 32-ounce carton beef broth
- 1 14.5 ounce can chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper (or adjust to taste)
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 drops hot pepper sauce
- For Garnish
- 6 slices French bread
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- ½ to 1 cup (4 ounces to 8 ounces) shaved asiago cheese, depending on taste
- Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add garlic and onion. Stir onions over high heat until golden brown. You will have to stir constantly to keep the onions from burning. When the onions are golden brown add all the ingredients except garnish ingredients and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for twenty minutes.
- Make croutons by cutting the slices of french bread into cubes. Place butter into a saute pan (or skillet) and melt. Add garlic and bread cubes. Stir constantly for five minutes. Remove from heat. Pour soup into bowl, top with croutons and cheese to taste.
If you like this recipe please check out the book, “Top Secret Recipes Unlocked” (Penguin Random House 2009) by Todd Wilbur. You can find the recipe and more here. You can also find his books, Top Secret Recipes 1, Top Secret Recipes 2, and Top Secret Recipes 3 on Amazon.
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