Today: A lesser-known onion soup from France that vegetarians can enjoy, too.
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A panade is a broth thickened with toasted cubes of levain or bâtard bread, creating a hearty, soulful soup. It’s a lighter, fresher version of French onion soup, and can be served to vegetarians because it’s made with a cheese broth instead of beef or veal stock. It’s also much faster to make than the old standard. A mountain-style cheese such as Gruyère, Comté, or Pleasant Ridge Reserve works best here for two reasons: The cheese becomes elastic and holds its texture in the hot liquid, and the flavors of the soup -- the yeasty bread and sweetness of the caramelized onions -- are reminiscent of the flavors in the cheese. The onion-garlic confit gives this soup wonderful flavor, but if you like, you can make this recipe simpler by using chicken stock and quartered onions, as shown in the photo.
Want to win a copy of Cowgirl Creamery Cooks? Tell us in the comments: What's your go-to cheesy soup? We'll choose one random winner each day, and announce them this Friday! (Unfortunately, we can only ship books within the US.)
Photo by Christopher Hirscheimer and Melissa Hamilton
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
Cowgirl Creamery launched in 1997, but our story began well before then. We met freshman year at the University of Tennessee where, little did we know, a lifelong friendship and infatuation with food would ensue. In 1976 our journey westward began. Once arriving in the Bay Area, we became involved in the burgeoning food movement at Chez Panisse and Bette's Oceanview Diner, both in Berkeley, CA. By the early 1990s, we were ready for a new challenge when we decided to launch Tomales Bay Foods, a marketing vehicle to help West Marin's farms and dairies get their delicious products into the hands of the Bay Area's finest chefs. From there, we decided to make our own cheese using the milk from neighboring Straus Family Creamery. Two decades, two creameries, four retail stores, and two thousand tons of cheese later, we still love what we do and have decided to bring our stories and recipes (dishes that use cheese not how to make cheese) to you in our first cookbook, Cowgirl Creamery Cooks.