Panera Bread (called St. Louis Bread Company in the St. Louis metropolitan area) is a chain of bakery–café quick casual restaurants in the United States and Canada that sells breads, sandwiches, soups, salads, and other bakery items. This site will provide copycat recipes and recipes using products sold at the Panera Bread restaurants. Panera Bread Co. has 1,736 bakery cafes in 45 states and Canada under the Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co. and Paradise Bakery & Cafe brands.
French Onion Soup
1/4 cup sweet creamy butter
8 cups sliced yellow onions (4 to 5 medium onions)
2 (14 ounce) cans beef broth
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon tomato sauce or 1 tablespoon ketchup
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
couple drops Tabasco sauce
shaved asiago cheese
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add sliced onions and saute over high heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring often, until onions turn brown. Add remaining ingredients (except bread and asiago) to the pot and stir to combine. (NOTE: to help the flour blend in, I recommend whisking it into the broth or water before adding) Heat soup until it's boiling, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
Make croutons for the top of the soup by slicing foccacia bread (or other bread) into slices. Butter both sides of the slices, then cut into bite-size cubes. Bake the bread in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes or until crispy. (I cut bread into bite-size pieces first, then spray with spray butter). Serve the soup with a handful of croutons and a couple tablespoons of shaved asiago on top.
These videos feature one of the head chefs at Panera talking about soup philosophy and how they make French Onion Soup at the restaurant.