Panera Bread Five-Onion Soup with Scallion and Gruyere Croutons

Panera Bread Five-Onion Soup with Scallion and Gruyere Croutons

3 large yellow onions, halved and sliced (pole to pole)
3 red onions, halved and sliced
6 shallots, halved and sliced
3 leeks (white parts only), halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
3 cups scallions (greens reserved for croutons), sliced
1 large garlic clove, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 750ml bottle red wine
1 small bunch thyme (12 sprigs) cut into 4-inch lengths
6 quarts beef stock, homemade or low-sodium canned
1 baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch coins
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated

In a 12-quart stockpot, saute the onions, shallots, leeks, scallion whites, garlic and a heavy pinch of salt in 2 tablespoons oil until the onions begin to caramelize. Deglaze with red wine. Add the thyme and stock to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for at least 1 hour. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

While the soup is simmering, preheat the oven to broil. Toss the bread coins with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and place flat on a sheet pan. Toss the scallion greens with the Gruyere, and top each coin with the mixture. Bake on a rack in the middle of the oven for 3 minutes and then transfer to the broiler to lightly brown the tops. The cheese should be bubbly. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with croutons.

-makes 6 to 8 servings

Source: Panera Bread website and Adapted from The Panera Bread Cookbook: Breadmaking Essentials and Recipes from America’s Favorite Bakery-Cafe by the Panera Bread Team.