Review: Panera Bread Soup

When I first moved to Memphis, I was a bit distraught over the fact that Panera had zero presence. But after a couple of years I got my wish and my favorite pick two combination for lunch was within reach. When I went there most recently, I realized it had been a little while since my last visit because I was pleasantly surprised with new choices.


As usual, I had trouble picking just one item so I chose the “You Pick 2″ combination option with the Low-Fat Vegetarian Garden Vegetable with Pesto soup with the Big Kid Grilled Cheese.

The soup is low-fat and vegetarian with diced tomatoes, sliced zucchini, yellow beans, fresh Swiss chard, cauliflower, bell peppers and pearled barley in a tomato broth with a dollop of nut-free basil pesto. Such a great combination of flavors, and so scrumptious that I would rather get it from them than try to recreate it (and ultimately fail) at home. I have to admit that I expected the pesto to be a visible dollop on top, but it must’ve been mixed in – not a big deal!

Panera Soup

The second half of my “You Pick 2″ was their Big Kid Grilled Cheese with Gruyere, Vermont white cheddar, organic sliced American cheese and applewood- smoked bacon. I may make every grilled cheese from now on this way. On a normal day I would’ve paired this with their tomato soup, but I couldn’t resist the garden vegetable soup.

And while we’re talking about it, my lunch companion got their Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese, which is pure gooey deliciousness – the way mac and cheese should be. Also notice that yes, we ate outside because it was mid-December and in the high 60s.

Panera Mac and Cheese

What’s your favorite Panera Bread soup? Don’t have a favorite, then which would would you like to try? Find out more on Panera’s website.

Disclosure: I was compensated for my meal and for my time to write this post by the DailyBuzz Food Tastemakers program. However, this did not sway my personal thoughts and opinions on my experience at Panera.

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