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Super Soup

by Courtney on December 13, 2012

Last night, Jay and I had a hot dinner date…


At Panera. Winking smile

I was recently selected by the DailyBuzz Food Tastemaker’s to have the opportunity to sample one of the soups at Panera Bread and share it all with you. I was immediately on board because a) I love sharing my food with you anyways, and b) I’m already a majorly huge fan of Panera’s soups. Win win!

I was literally going back and forth all day long about what kind of soup I wanted to get. I made sure to check their menu online (because their soups change daily, with some of them available every day) to try to get an idea, but it didn’t really help. So indecisive!

By this point in my life, I feel like I’ve tried a pretty big majority of them:

  • Low-Fat All-Natural Chicken Noodle – love the big noodles
  • Broccoli Cheddar – amazing; especially in a bread bowl
  • Baked Potato – also amazing in a bread bowl, and was Jay’s soup of choice last night
  • Low-Fat Vegetarian Garden Vegetable with Pesto – I actually liked their original garden vegetable soup a little better than the current, but it’s still good
  • Low-Fat Vegetarian Black Bean – good, but a little spicy(!) for this mild gal

So when it came down to it last night, I wound up making a last minute decision at the counter and went with one I haven’t had in a looooong time…


French Onion, baby. And you guys…I can’t believe I haven’t been getting this more often. The soup literally blew me away – between the asiago croutons, the thick broth with tons of onions, and the gooey cheese on top, it was just amazing.

As usual, when it comes to me and ordering at Panera, I got the soup as part of one of their “You Pick Two” meal choices and paired it with their Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT.


I’ve been craving a fresh, ripe avocado all week, so when I tell you that I ordered this sandwich solely for the avocado, I’m not even kidding. It was fantastic.

But overall, I’d definitely have to say that the French Onion was my favorite.


That was one super bowl of soup.

I was so hungry by the time we got our food that I pretty much inhaled that meal like a true champ. Granted, I’m still full this morning from it and was uncomfortably stuffed all last night, buuuuuut whatever. It was gooooood.

And I think I’m just now starting to get hungry for breakfast, so it’s time to head to the kitchen and see what I can scrounge up!

Question for the Morning:

Have you ever dined at Panera? What’s your favorite item of theirs?

Disclaimer: As part of the DailyBuzz Healthy Living Program, I received a free gift card and stipend from Panera Bread. All opinions, as always, are entirely my own.

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope December 13, 2012 at 8:34 am

I love the broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl! That is my favorite! Their cookies are pretty good too :)
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2 Khushboo December 13, 2012 at 8:36 am

Never tried Panera but their baked potato soup sounds awesome!
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3 Melanie December 13, 2012 at 8:52 am

I always end up getting the same item everything I go…The French Onion Soup. I absolutely love it!!


4 Elaine December 13, 2012 at 8:55 am

I love Panera! I used to live off of it in college. I don’t live as close to one anymore, which is unfortunate for my stomach but fortunate for my wallet. I would always get the pick two deal too. In the warmer months, I always go with a salad and sandwich, and in the cooler months I’d opt for soup instead of salad. I honestly love everything I’ve tried on the menu and don’t have a go-to because it’s all so good!


5 Angela @ Health's Angel December 13, 2012 at 8:57 am

My brother loves the French Onion soup, but I’ve never had it for some reason!? My favorite is the garden vegetable one, definitely. I wish they had it daily, though! I never seem to be at Panera on the days that they serve it…
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6 Natalie @ Free Range Human December 13, 2012 at 9:05 am

I’ve never tried Panera but my husband is a huge fan. It sounds like it would be something I would really enjoy!


7 Beks December 13, 2012 at 9:13 am

I feel like I practically lived at Panera when I was in college. I am in love with their French Onion Soup (It’s really the only one I like), and love to get roast beef with it. Don’t know what it is. Yummy!


8 michelle kim December 13, 2012 at 9:16 am

I used to just get their big salads (Fuji apple and some Thai one). I think their Pick-Two is a great value because they give you so much, and that sandwich looks awesome delicious!
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9 Danica @ It's Progression December 13, 2012 at 9:17 am

I LOVE Panera and I actually just got a giftcard for there yesterday from my Secret Angel at work :) I love their chicken noodle soup, the Greek salad, and the Mediterranean Veggie sandwich! yum!
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10 Brittney @ Brittney Breathing December 13, 2012 at 9:22 am

Nothing beats the French Onion Soup!


11 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries December 13, 2012 at 9:29 am

I wish we had Panera here in Utah!! Looks delicious!
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12 Claire @ Keeping Up With Claire December 13, 2012 at 9:29 am

I looooove Panera! I’m in love with their Chinese chicken salad, as well as their tuna salad sandwich! I usually am not a huge tuna fan, but theirs is the best!


13 Jessamy @ The Rambling Asian December 13, 2012 at 9:30 am

Oh I love the baked potato soup in the bread bowl too!!! But I really love the Chipotle Chicken Sandwich! Love those two as a pick-two combo.
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14 Rachel@Running Daze December 13, 2012 at 9:35 am

My favorite lately has been their chicken cobb salad. It’s so good – chicken, avocado, egg and bacon yummm


15 Cindy December 13, 2012 at 9:43 am

I live for Panera! When I first moved to NYC, I was bummed there were no Paneras but now there are at least three in the city.

I could pretty much eat anything from there but my favorite items are the Thai Chopped Chicken Salad and the Sierra Turkey Sandwich.
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16 Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl December 13, 2012 at 10:27 am

I absolutely love Panera!

I used to always get the broccoli cheese soup in a bread bowl until I became a vegetarian (thank goodness they still have soup options for me!) and realized that the bread bowl has about a zillion calories ;). Now I tend to stick with their garden vegetable soup and the Mediterranean veggie sandwich. Both are just so darn delicious!
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17 Molly @ Just Your Average Athlete December 13, 2012 at 10:27 am

I actually haven’t tried any of Panera’s soups, but that French Onion soup looks SO amazing…I think I’m making a pit stop on my lunch break :)
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18 Sabrina @Work It Ms Jackson December 13, 2012 at 10:34 am

I had their French Onion soup for the first time not too long ago and I loved it! And now you’re making me want to forego my lunch from home and go have some. LOL!!!
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19 Elizabeth @ Southern Color December 13, 2012 at 10:37 am

Yum! I love the cream of chicken soup! I worked at Panera throughout college and I honestly still love their food – it’s so tasty and fairly healthy.
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20 chelcie @ chelcie's food files December 13, 2012 at 10:38 am

I love paneras black bean and chicken noodle but I’ve never tried the french onion! sounds delicious!
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21 kim@hungryhealthygirl December 13, 2012 at 10:48 am

Love Panera! I usually get the choose two also and many times get the salad with strawberries….so fresh and yummy. The broccoli cheese is my favorite of their soups. I have to admit though, I haven’t tried the French Onion. My kids also go crazy for the Mac & Cheese.
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22 Rachel December 13, 2012 at 10:52 am

I’m actually a huge fan of their garden salad… some of their vegetarian sandwiches are a little too spicy for me lol
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23 Katie December 13, 2012 at 10:54 am

I previously ate at panera all the time before I went veggie. it’s harder to now because even the soups have chicken broth. Last time I bought the BBQ chicken salad without the chicken! LOL still really good with the spicy dressing and corn :)
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24 Allie December 13, 2012 at 10:59 am

The broccoli cheddar in the bread bowl is hands down the best meal at Panera! I used to get it all of the time when my girls and I went there, but ever since I’ve eaten more healthy the past several years, I haven’t had it again. Might just have to treat myself!
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25 Katie December 13, 2012 at 11:01 am

I love variety, so I always get the You Pick Two with soup (Chicken and Wild Rice if available) and the Smokehouse Turkey Panini. Whenever I try to switch it up, my meal is never as good as usual. I think it’s a sign. When something tastes that good, why switch?
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26 Chelsea @ Cardio and Cocktails December 13, 2012 at 11:15 am

I just love Panera! I almost always go with their Smoked Turkey sandwich- can’t beat it!
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27 Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers December 13, 2012 at 11:24 am

Must be a day for Panera! I just told my co-worker that we should go there for lunch! Love there Thai Chopped Salad!!! I nver tried the french onion soup, maybe I’ll get that on the side?
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28 Brooke @ Running In Heels December 13, 2012 at 11:32 am

Panera soup is the BEST. The baked potato soup is to die for.. even if it is a unhealthy indulgence :) I’ve had the chicken noodle too, and I can back up both of them, they’re wonderful!

I don’t know if you know this, but Walmart sells Panera soup in their Deli Section, by the pre-made take and bake pizzas and stuff! Thought you might be interested ;)
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29 Meghan @ After the Ivy League December 13, 2012 at 11:40 am

I used to get their french onion soup all the time when I worked at an internship with a Panera next door. SO delicious. With a half tuna sandwich, loved that lunch break!
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30 Lauren B. December 13, 2012 at 11:45 am

My favorite item at Panera is definitely the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad- it’s my go-to! And I swear that their bread can’t be beat.


31 Nicole @ December 13, 2012 at 12:42 pm

My favorite thing from there is the bbq chicken chopped salad…it is so tasty!


32 Annette@FitnessPerks December 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I always do the Pick 2 when I go too!!

I love the bean soup too. Yumm!
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33 Elizabeth December 13, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I love love the French Onion !! It is my favorite


34 Ellie@Fit for the Soul December 13, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Have i tried panera?!~ Yes, I used to eat there evvvvery day and do my work there too! man if I had the money I still would eat there like at LEAST 1x or 2x a week :P Their salads and soups are amazing. However, I’m just not the biggest fan of onion soup in general, but at least panera makes it tasty. My fave soups are chicken noodle, vegetable, and baked potato. :)


35 Ellie@Fit for the Soul December 13, 2012 at 1:01 pm

And another fave place is corner bakery~their potato soup miiiight just be a tiny bit yummier than panera’s. :P
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36 Sara @ The Foodie Diaries December 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Panera is HANDS DOWN one of my favorite “go to” places. There is nothing better than a bowl of their soup when it’s cold outside!
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37 Alex @ Healthy Life Happy Wife December 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I love Panera! I always get broccoli cheddar soup and a half greek salad! Soo good! I also love their IC Carmel frozen drinks but those are saved for special occasions :)
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38 anne December 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Just curious – as everyone here seems to be a huge fan of the French Onion – I’ve always stayed away from that one because it is usually the one that is highest in sodium (and it’s a pretty crazy amount). Anyone else ever worried about the high sodium content of Panera (and most other restaurant) soups?


39 Shelly December 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I am totally going to Panera to grab soup in a bread bowl now for dinner! As soon as I read this, I started craving it. Thanks! :)
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40 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake December 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I LOVE Panera! I’m a big fan of the broccoli cheddar and baked potato soups!
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41 Stefanie @ Thin Vegetarian December 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm

I am not a big bread person, so I don’t really go to Panera.
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42 Shannon December 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Of course, I have been to Panera Bread before! That is one of my favorite chain restaurants, to be completely honest with you. :)

I usually get either their Mac n Cheese (tastes so, so, so good with the shells + cheese combination), or the Chicken Noodle soup. They’ve changed the recipe to the soup since the last time I had it before the last time I went to Panera Bread. Needless to say, I still enjoy the Chicken Noodle soup.


43 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More December 13, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I LOVE their garden vegetable soup! It’s definitely a favorite but I have to agree on their older recipe being better… ;)
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44 Tracy December 13, 2012 at 10:42 pm

I love, love, love the black bean soup and the greek salad! Congrats on your new job, Courtney!


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