Panade and French Onion Soup

I looooooooove French onion soup. So simple, so warming, so delicious. I make it often when I have broth and a fresh bag of onions. And I generally, skip the bread and go with a much more modest dusting of Parmesan instead of melted gruyere, which makes for a low-calorie dinner.

It’s very easy to make and especially good with homemade broth.

I like to use a variety of onions when I can. And a bit of garlic.

Slice them as thinly as you can. Be careful!

I like to use a good amount of fresh thyme and oregano from the garden to sauté the onions with.

Sauté until the onions brown but don’t burn. I like to use cast iron. Salt and pepper a bit. As the onions begin to brown, if you like, splash a bit of cognac, sherry or red wine to scrape up the brown bits. Then add your broth and a bay leaf and simmer as long as you can stand (so 30 minutes to an hour, but sometimes I just can’t wait and do 15).

Then dust with Parmesan or top with toasted bread and gruyere and broil briefly.

That’s the soup! I came across something even more amazing once, a butternut squash dish called panade. An exact recipe here.

But the basic thing is to thinly slice butternut squash and layer it with day old bread (I recommend rye).

And then pour French onion soup over the top of it.

Grate a cup of gruyere. And layer it with the butternut and bread, but reserve most for the top with a bit more soup.

And then roast in the oven cover and then uncovered. This is so amazingly good. One of the best and most comforting fall dishes I’ve ever had.

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