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Cowgirl Creamery's Panade with Gruyère and Onion-Garlic Confit

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All this week, Sue Conley and Peggy Smith from Cowgirl Creamery will be sharing recipes from their forthcoming cookbook Cowgirl Creamery Cooks, answering our questions, and giving away a book every day.  

Today: A lesser-known onion soup from France that vegetarians can enjoy, too.

Panade on Food52

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. 

Panade with Gruyère and Onion-Garlic Confit 

Serves 4


4 cups bread cubes (about 1-inch cubes)
Onion-Garlic Confit (recipe follows)
6 cups Parmesan Broth 
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons grated Gruyère or Comté
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Onion-Garlic Confit

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced into half moons
4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Pinch sea salt
2 tablespoons dry sherry or brandy
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

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

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Tags: Weeknight Cooking, Vegetarian, Everyday Cooking