Yields: 4 servings
Salt 8 1/2-inch-thick French bread baguette slices 1/2 cup grated Manchego or Monterey Jack Cheese Minced fresh chives or green onion tops Saffron threads
Heat 4 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. add bread cubes and garlic and sauté until bread is lightly golden about 4 minutes. Add wine, then broth and saffron; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 25 minutes. Puree soup in a blender. Return soup to saucepan. Season with salt. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange French bread slices on cookie sheet. Brush with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Bake until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over croutons. Transfer cookie sheet to broiler; broil croutons until cheese melts. Place 2 croutons in each bowl. Bring soup to simmer. Ladle over croutons. Sprinkle with chives and a few saffron threads and serve.