Saturday, December 8, 2012

It's time for soup - Panera-style

When I got an offer to sample soup at Panera Bread courtesy of DailyBuzz Food, it seemed like a great opportunity to treat myself to something different.

Don't get me wrong - I love to cook, and I like what I cook. But sometimes the only thing I really want is something I didn't make  ... as long as it's good.

And I'm a huge fan of soup.

I picked the tomato soup on my first visit - that's always one of my favorites - and it was a good choice. Flavorful, with some texture rather than being a completely smooth puree, and it came with a nice hunk of baguette. Can't go wrong with that.

I'm actually thinking about recreating this soup at home - that's how much I liked it.

According to Panera, the secret to their tomato soup is the variety of tomatoes they use. I think the secret to the soup is that it tastes fresh. Home made, even. I actually wouldn't mind if the soup was sold in quarts, chilled, so I could pick it up to reheat later for dinner.

You can, however, get your food to go, and that's what I did - opting to grab my lunch and bring it to the hospital with me. Probably not the most elegant way to eat a meal, but it worked for me.

Before I was selected for this opportunity, I hadn't tried any of the Panera soups, but I'd heard from other people that they were good, and I have to say I was really happy with the tomato soup.

I made one more trip and this time tried the chicken with wild rice and the broccoli cheddar. I liked both of those as well (and remembered to take photos). The chicken soup was pretty thick - almost a stew. And the broccoli soup had nice hunks of broccoli.

Of the three, the tomato was my favorite, but I sure wouldn't turn any of them down.

How about you? Have you tried their soups? Do you have a favorite? Is there one more I absolutely have to try?

This post was sponsored by Panera Bread and DailyBuzz Food. All delicious opinions are my own.