french onion soup

French Onion Soup in Sourdough Bread Bowl

Not too long ago, I had lunch at the local “Panera Bread” where I enjoyed a delightful French Onion Soup served in a Bread Bowl.

Panera Bread’s recipes are available on-line, though this one was found on


French Onion Soup in Sourdough Bread Bowl

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


  • 4 8-ounce round sourdough loaves
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped white onions
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 3 medium)
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped red onions
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups dry Sherry
  • 7 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Cut 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch off top of bread loaves.

  3. Scoop out bread, leaving 1/2-inch-thick shell.

  4. Generously brush inside of bread bowls and lids with melted butter.

  5. Place bread bowls and lids, buttered side up, directly on oven rack; bake until crisp, about 20 minutes.

  6. Remove from oven; set aside.

  7. Melt 1/4 cup butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.

  8. Add white onions, leeks, red onions, garlic and shallot to pot.

  9. Cook until vegetables are dark brown, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.

  10. Add flour and stir 1 minute. Gradually mix in Sherry.

  11. Boil mixture until very thick, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes.

  12. Gradually mix in stock; add thyme and rosemary and bring to boil.

  13. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes.

  14. Add cream; simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  15. Place 1 bread bowl on each plate.

  16. Place bread lid alongside.

  17. Ladle soup into bread bowls and serve.

Steve D.

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