Butternut Squash Bread Soup (Panade de Butternut)

This dish could have fed an army. It was GIGANTIC.  I would describe it as French onion soup meets oozy casserole. Full-flavored, cheese-covered comfort food. The thinly sliced butternut squash and fresh herbs layered into the bread, caramelized onions, and cheese added a little bit of excitement as well as color and nutrition. 😉

This recipe was adapted from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz. Lebovitz stated that this is one of those dishes that improves as it sits… thank goodness! We had lots of leftovers. 🙂 I added additional homemade stock to the leftovers, before reheating, just to make it a little bit soupier.

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 4 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled (4 thinly sliced & 4 whole)
  • 2 T mixed fresh thyme and sage
  • 2-pound (900 g) loaf firm-textured sourdough bread, sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 quarts (2 l) warm chicken or turkey stock, plus additional stock for serving, as desired
  • 2-pound butternut squash or other winter squash such as Kabocha, peeled, seeded and sliced into 1/8-inch slices
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups grated Comte, Gruyere, Jarlsberg, or Fontina cheese
  • 1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz /45 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)

  1. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. (I used an enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
  2. Add the onions, 4 cloves of sliced garlic, and 1 teaspoon of the herbs. Cook for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are completely wilted and beginning to brown on the bottom and edges.
  3. While the onions are cooking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. Put the slices of bread on baking sheets in a single layer and toast in the oven, turning the slices over midway, until both sides are dry, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  5. When cool enough to handle, rub both sides of the bread with the whole garlic cloves.
  6. Slice the peeled and seeded squash into 1/8-inch slices. (I used a mandoline.)
  7. When the onions are done, pour in the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen up any of the flavorful brown bits. Cook for a minute or two, until the wine is absorbed.
  8. Add 2 cups of the stock to the onions and cook until the stock is mostly absorbed 10 to 15 minutes, and then add the rest of the stock and heat until the stock is hot. Remove from heat.
  9. To assemble the Panade, cover the bottom of a 3 to 4 quart (3-4 l), 3+inch (8 cm) deep, baking dish with a layer of bread, breaking any pieces so they fit in a single layer, but keeping them as large as possible.
  10. Ladle about half of the onions and some of the stock over the bread, and then cover with half of the squash slices. Season lightly with salt, pepper, and half of the remaining herbs.
  11. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup (40 g) of the Comte.
  12. Add a second layer of bread and ladle the rest of the onions and more stock over the bread. Cover with remaining squash slices. Season the squash with salt, pepper, and the remaining herbs.
  13. Sprinkle another 1/2 cup (40 g) of Comte over the squash layer.
  14. Cover the squash with a final layer of bread and then ladle the rest of the stock over the bread.
  15. Press down on the ingredients to encourage them to meld together.
  16. Top with remaining 1 cup (90 g) Comte, and the Parmesan.
  17. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and tighten it around the edges. Don’t press it down on the surface or some cheese may stick to the foil during baking.
  18. Set the baking dish on a parchment paper or foil-lined rimmed baking sheet to catch any spills.
  19. Bake for 45 minutes, uncover the Panade, and bake for another 30 minutes, or until it is very well browned and crisp on top.
  20. Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Spoon portions into shallow soup bowls, making sure each serving is topped with crusty topping.

I’m bringing my dinner-party ready comfort food to share at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #164 this week, hosted by Jhuls @The Not So Creative Cook. Enjoy!

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Caramelized Leek & Potato Soup

This is not the typical potato-leek soup. The leek to potato ratio is doubled in this recipe, making it much sweeter as a result. It is also served chunky. It tasted like a combination of French onion soup (with all of the caramelized leeks) and scalloped potatoes (with all of the thinly sliced potatoes).

This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. (I love her!) I incorporated some frozen leeks and turkey stock. I also increased the amount of garlic and potatoes and modified the garnish. I increased the cooking time to allow the leeks to be fully caramelized prior to adding the additional ingredients as well.

Although not necessary, before serving, we added a dollop of sour cream (my husband) and Greek yogurt (me!) to the soup to add a little bit of richness. It would be wonderful with a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream as well. We ate it with warm bread and green salad on the side. SO hearty and tasty!

  • 1 ½ pounds fresh leeks (about 6) white and light green part only
  • 1 pound frozen leeks, thawed, picked over, and thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 large sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 4 large sprigs fresh sage
  • 4 large sprigs parsley, and chopped leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 large garlic cloves, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 8 cups vegetable stock or water (I incorporated 4 cups of Turkey Stock)
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, halved and thinly sliced (I used baby gold potatoes)
  • heavy cream, sour cream, or Greek yogurt, for serving, optional
  1. Halve the fresh leeks lengthwise and thinly slice the leeks crosswise. Place in a large bowl and cover with water. Swish to remove the grit. Using a slotted spoon, scoop leeks out from the top of the bowl removing as much water as possible.
  2. In a small square of cheesecloth, tie together bay leaves, thyme, sage, parsley and celery leaves if using.
  3. Melt the butter into the oil in the bottom of a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until leeks are soft and dark golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in the garlic for the last 3 minutes of cooking.
  4. Stir in stock and/or water, the sachet of herbs, the salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce immediately to medium-low; simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the potatoes and simmer soup until potatoes are very tender and falling apart, about 45 minutes.
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  8. If desired, dollop sour cream or yogurt on top or drizzle a small amount of cream into each bowl when serving. Top with parsley or thyme for garnish.

I’m bringing this to share with my friends at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #108 this week hosted by Suzanne @ A Pug in the Kitchen and Zeba @ Food for the Soul. Come join the fun! 🙂

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