Bread Soup (Panade) with Onions, Chard, and Mushrooms

This soup really shines with homemade stock, especially homemade vegetable stock. I do not recommend using boxed or canned veggie stock for this recipe.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6.


  • 12-14 ounces day-old rustic bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions (sliced vertically, from tip to root)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 6 to 8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 10 to 12 ounces fresh chard, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1/2 cup hearty red wine
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 quarts stock (chicken, beef, or vegetable, use vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese



1 Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Toss the cubed bread with a little olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt. Arrange bread on a baking sheet and toast for 20-30 minutes (check timing!) or until nicely browned.


2 While the cubed bread is in the oven, prepare the onions. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and the butter on medium heat in a 5 to 7 quart Dutch oven. Add the onions and stir to coat with the butter and oil. Cook gently, stirring occasionally for 10 to 15 minutes. If the onions begin to dry out at all, lower the heat. They should begin to caramelize and lightly brown. Add the garlic, cook for a minute more, remove from heat.


3 While the onions are browning, heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms. "Dry" sauté them (sauté without any added fat) until they release their moisture and are lightly browned.


4 Cut away the tough central stems of the the chard leaves (discard, compost, or use for another purpose). Cut across the leaves into 1-inch wide strips.

5 Remove half of the browned onions from the Dutch oven and set aside. Spread the remaining onions evenly over the bottom of the pot. Layer over with half of the chard and half of the browned mushrooms. Sprinkle with pepper, half a teaspoon of salt, and thyme. Put down a layer of toasted bread cubes. Add the remaining onions, chard, and mushrooms. Layer on top the remaining bread cubes.

6 Mix together the honey and wine, until the honey is dissolved. Pour over the bread mixture. Pour the broth over everything.

7 Scatter the top evenly with the grated cheese.

8 Cover the pot with foil (not the lid) and seal it around the edges. Cut 4 or 5 vent holes in the top. Put it in a 350°F oven. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Serve immediately, digging into the layers to get a bit of everything for each portion, or let cool and refrigerate, covered.

To reheat, gently simmer a portion until hot. Plate and garnish with additional cheese and thyme.

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  • rose

    Very tasty

  • shelli : mamaofletters

    Just wanted to say this was an excellent recipe! Thank you! My husband told me it was the best soup I’ve ever made. (I’m not much of a cook.) I used only a small onion because he’s sensitive to onions, and I used a little extra mushrooms. Otherwise, I followed it closely. Used some good artisan bread. Really enjoyed it! Thanks.

  • Christine

    I meant to add, that obviously without the stock, I use up a lot more onions for this. And instead of wine (or in addition to wine, depending on how I’m feeling) I use some brandy. Super easy, super delicious!

  • Christine

    Oh man, how I love a panade. I don’t even use stock most of the time, I just caramelize the onions as if you were making a french onion soup (a la Ruhlman – without beef stock or stock at all!), then I proceed just as you do, only with water. It takes a little more time, but I hate to use up my homemade stock when I don’t have to :)

  • Elke

    I made this soup with the vegetable stock you posted earlier and it was absolutely amazing. Just the right meal for the single digit temperatures we have right now here in New Hampshire.

  • [email protected]/food

    Thanks for coming up with this veg delicious soup recipe.I love to add little spinach too.

  • Nan

    I love this recipe, except for the honey. A tablespoon sounds like a lot — is the sweetness very pronounced? (I really don’t like sweet flavors very much.)

    No, the sweetness is not pronounced. The honey is there for the flavor and for the balance that a little sweetness brings to the soup. ~Elise

  • Judy

    Is there a big difference between swiss chard and kale? I happen to have some kale and was wondering if I could try it in this delicious sounding recipe!

    Swiss chard is more delicate than kale and takes less time to cook. You could try this with kale. I would chop the leaves finer. ~Elise

  • valerie

    Since childhood the thought of soggy bread in anything, turns me off. (Steamed bread & butter pudding gave me nightmares!)
    I adapted that part and made it with nice crispy toasted cheese croutons added at the end…Yum
    When I saw bread soup I almost wasn’t there but, so glad I persevered!!!!!!!!!

  • Amber

    Elise, Many thanks for sharing this healthy recipe with your readers! California Food Literacy Center is proud to have your support.

    I’m going to try making this with the veggie stock recipe you posted earlier this week. Love this suggestion.