Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Panera Soups and Bread

It's been another crazy holiday season, hasn't it? Lately, I've been cramming holiday get-togethers, shopping, work, baking, and more get-togethers all into some seemingly short days. It's not easy packing it all in and still making sure my husband and I get to share a meal together, so I was pretty excited when Daily Buzz Food offered to send me a giftcard in order to try out some of the amazing soups at Panera Bakery-Cafe.

I'm actually no stranger to Panera. It's my restaurant of choice when it comes to grabbing some food on the go. There's nothing fried about the food...it's all freshly made. And the choices! Sandwiches filled with fresh meats and veggies, amazing salads full of crunchy goodness , and soups made just like I would make them at home.

A few weeks ago, Pete and I met up with my daughter and her boyfriend to go see a movie. We all ducked into Panera for a quick bite first. Three of us ordered the Tomato Soup and the "Big Kid" grilled cheese sandwich. First, the soup comes topped with some awesome Asiago cheese croutons floating on the top, but the kicker was the melty grilled cheese sandwich that we all dipped into the soup.

There's bacon in there, too!

Now, with a gift card burning a hole in my pocket, I decided I wanted to try some soup in a bread bowl. It wasn't too hard to convince Pete to make a stop after work---with the weather finally turning blustery, soup sounded like a great idea to him, too. Before I left work, though, I took a look at Panera's website to see what kind of choices they had on the menu that day. Well, not only is there a daily menu, listing all of the soup choices, but there are Soup Stories! One of Panera's chefs gives us insight into the inspiration that goes into the different soups. 

I had a mind-set, however. It was going to be the French Onion soup, and I wanted it in a bread bowl. My choice (and Pete's too) did not disappoint.

Seriously? All of the soup goodness soaks into the bread bowl...

We both chose the Barbecue Chicken Salad to go with the soup. Very tasty.

Of course, we couldn't pass up the bakery goods. I chose a beautiful slice of Cinnamon Coffee Cake, that I was too full to eat right away. I'm always bringing the extras home with me. :)

The coffee cake was a nice treat for me at work the next day....

Visit Panera's website to learn more about how Panera sources their food and works with your community to support hunger relief.


  1. I love Panera also. I was surprised at how low there prices are on their yummy breads. Way cheaper than picking up bread at the grocery store. Now if I lived closer than 30 miles away it would be great to be able to pop in and take advantage of their awesome food.

    1. I know, right? Pete and I have gone to Panera 4 times in the last few weeks--this review was so easy! :) Now they have a special with your meal--just 99 cents and you can pick out any bakery product for dessert. I missed out on the Red Velvet cookies--they were sold out.