I met my fellow farmers’ market vendor friend, Sue, at Panera Bread last Saturday for early morning coffee and as I was placing my order a tray of warm sour dough boules that Panera uses for soup bowls was brought out of the kitchen and placed on a rack right in front of me. There was no way I could resist those golden brown little balls with their heavenly aroma so I bought several for the chowder I was planning to make for Sunday dinner. These little bowls hold just the right amount of soup, soak up the perfect amount of liquid and are heavenly delicious with whatever you fill them with. Tear off little pieces of the crusty sour dough as you eat the filling – a scrumptious meal all in one.
I prepared the bread bowls by cutting a slice off the top and hollowing out the boules to hold the amount of filling I wanted to use. I brushed the insides with a little olive oil and put them into a hot oven (400°) for about 6-8 minutes to toast them a little bit. Fill the bread with hot soup (right to the top) and return to the oven for another 5-7 minutes. Depending on the filling turn the broiler on for a couple of minutes if you want the tops to crisp up and brown. I love quick and easy meals like this, don’t you?
I have filled these little bowls with so many different things: stews, chili, soups, veggies, the possibilities are endless. Just be sure there is plenty of broth or gravy in the filling because the bread absorbs some (that’s what make it yummy) and you don’t want the filling to be dry. This is a great dish to serve for Sunday brunch because after the filling is gone the bread can be leisurely enjoyed with another cup of coffee or glass of juice (or another Mimosa). Here are some suggestions for fillings that are perfect for these little bread bowls:
Broccoli Cheddar Soup – very similar to Panera’s famous soup
Ribollita – a classic bread and soup combo
Chili Molé – top with grated cheese, chopped tomato, avocado and cilantro
This post is linked to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum. I hope you will stop by for a visit.