So, I have never attempted to make french onion soup because mentally I felt it was too complicated. I was wrong. Not only was this super simple, it tasted really good. I only observed on the actually day of cooking club due to the lack of husband that night. Really, serve french onion soup to my children. Hahahhahhaha! I did try renaming it to squares and string soup, which my children promptly saw through.
Here's the recipe:
French Onion Soup Like Panera Bread:
1/4 cup butter
4 med yellow onions, sliced (I used two large white onions, worked great)
2 cans (14 oz) beef broth (Joan uses Tones beef base and makes broth according to directions on container)
3/4 cup chicken broth (again, Joan uses chicken base and makes broth)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon ketchup (Joan says this is too much, I used about 1/2 tablespoon)
1/4 tsp- 1 1/2 tsp pepper (to taste)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder (I apparently didn't see this and forgot to add it, opps!)
2 drops Tabasco sauce
Focaccia bread or other bread for croutons
a white cheese, like asiago, mozzarella, swiss, parmesan, provolone (I used a provolone/mozzarella mix that was fantastic)
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add sliced onions and saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often, until onions turn brown
Add remaining ingredients for the soup to the pan and stir to combine. Heat soup until it's boiling, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
To make the croutons, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Slice bread into 3/4 inch thick slices, butter both sides of those slices, then cute the slices into bite sized cubes. (I sliced and tossed in olive oil on the pan). Bake bread for 15 minutes or until crispy.
Serve the soup super hot with a handful croutons floating on top followed by a couple tablespoons of shredded or shaved cheese.
The only complaint about this soup was that it was a tad bit salty, my was not too salty, but I didn't add any to the soup as suggested. So, salt carefully!