Panera Style French Onion Soup:
(Panera's recipe called for 5 types of onions, but you can also just use ~5c. sliced yellow or white. I've done it both ways. :)
2-3 Shallots, sliced
1 Leek, sliced
1 White Onion, sliced
1 Yellow Onion, sliced
1 Red Onion, sliced
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1/4 c. Butter
2 quarts Beef Broth
1 c. Red Wine (optional)
1 T. Tomato Sauce (or Ketchup)
1 T. Thyme
1 t. Salt
1 t. Pepper
French Bread (or other crusty bread), diced up
2 T. Olive oil
Gruyere Cheese, sliced (or swiss cheese can substitute)
1. Start in a large pot by sauteing the onions and garlic in the butter.
2. Once the onions are transparent add the broth, stir and simmer for about 10 minutes.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to simmer for 20-30 minutes. Preheat Broiler.
4. While it is simmering take your diced up bread and toss with the Olive Oil.
5. Spread the pieces of bread on a baking sheet and top with slices of cheese.
6. Stick the baking sheet with bread/cheese under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly.
7. When ready to serve the soup top with the croutons. You can also top with additional cheese if desired.