Pick Two Tuesday

Do I have any Panera fans out there?

Since the closest location has always been in Nashville, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve set foot inside…

Panera Bread Clarksville

That is, until they FINALLY came to Clarksville a few weeks ago!

When I was asked to sample and review one of the soups from the Panera Bread menu as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I’ll admit it,

I was “SOUPER” excited! 😉

I’ll also admit to deliberating over my computer for at least an hour last night while trying to narrow down my selection to just one bowl…

In the end, I decided to go with the You Pick Two combo and ordered the signature
All-Natural Sonoma Chicken Stew alongside a Classic Side Salad:

Panera Bread's Sonoma Chicken Stew

From Panera’s website: Creamy chicken stew with carrots, peas, leeks & red potatoes with sweet cream and thyme, topped with Dry Jack Cheese biscuit.

Seriously, they had me at “creamy chicken stew”!

Panera Bread's Sonoma Chicken Stew

But CAN we talk about that Dry Jack Cheese biscuit?

Absolute HEAVEN!

Panera Bread's Sonoma Chicken Stew

And downright dumpling-like once crumbled and mixed into the bowl.

The stew itself did NOT disappoint! It was rich and creamy and FILLED with flavorful chicken, big hunks of potato, and the sweetest carrots I’ve ever tasted…they practically melted in my mouth!

I learned through one of Panera’s Soup Stories videos that the carrots they use for the stew are called “Thumbelina” carrots which are imported from Belgium and only grow to about the size of your thumb!

Yep, I’m pretty sure in a matter of weeks, the staff will know me by name…or at least as “that weird girl who takes pictures of her food” as I have EVERY intention of going back until I’ve tried each and every soup…and then, you know, while I’m there, I might as well have a cookie…all in the name of research of course! 😉

Especially since I’m now ARMED with this:

Screen shot 2012-12-18 at 6.25.56 AM

Free food ALWAYS taste better, don’tcha know! 😉

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I was selected to review one of soups from Panera’s menu in exchange for a stipend. Although I was compensated for this review, all expressed opinions above are of my own.

Have you ever been to Panera Bread? If so, what is your favorite thing to order?

What is your all-time favorite soup?

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29 Responses to Pick Two Tuesday

  1. I’ve never been to a Panera! :-( There isn’t any around here, so I haven’t had the opportunity to go yet. That soup looks amazing though! my favourite kind would probably be a butternut squash soup, they’re so tasty this time of year!

  2. I’ve only been to Panera once when I visited the US two years ago. It was for breakfast and I just got a bagel that I topped with my own soy nut butter – it was a good bagel though!

    My favourite soup is probably my mom’s minestrone. I grew up eating it all the time, so it holds a special place in my belly. 😀

  3. I looooooooveeeee Panera! I can’t believe yours has a drive through – how cool! I always get the black bean soup when I’m there. My favorite 😀

  4. Lucie says:

    Of course we do not have Panera here in old slow Switzerland! So I will need to live it vicariously through you, haha!

  5. I remember when we first got a Panera and it was like the cool place to go and always so busy. I love their vegetable soup or Mediterranean veggie sandwich. My only wish is that they would offer more vegetarian or vegan options (aside from soups).

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh yeah, I know what you mean…I was really hoping for more of a selection on the vegetarian salads since I knew I wanted to go with a hearty meaty soup. They could definitely get a bit more creative in that regard!

  6. I like Panera – their salads are always really fresh. Much appreciated no wish their soups weren’t so full of sodium though…

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      So true…even with a smaller portion in the pick two combo, this bowl was still over 1000mg! Wish they’d look into lower sodium broth options!

  7. purelytwins says:

    love lentil based soups and butternut squash soups :)

  8. Lisa says:

    I’ve never been to Panera! Canada really needs to pick up on this trend…

  9. I’ve never actually gotten to experience the deliciousness that is apparently Panera… we don’t have one up here where I live, and every time I’m down in the States, I end up going in to Chipotle instead. That soup, though… holy.wow. I need that in my life, stat…

  10. Great minds think alike! [Or at least post their Panera reviews on the same day…]

    Were I not a herbivore, I would love Panera more. I am a little sad that most of the more creative and enticing menu options feature meat. [They LOVE their chicken at Panera.] I have really wanted to try that stew, especially because in my pre-veg days I LOVED the chicken wild rice soup.

    Favorite soup of all time? Oy. I don’t know.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      The chicken and wild rice is actually the only other soup I’ve ever tried and very similar…only this one was a bit more creamy. They definitely DO love their chicken for sure! Wish they’d jump on the band-wagon with a few more veg-friendly options though…I was kind of disappointed that the only vegetarian salad was the classic house. I’d love a good Mediterranean option…or something with a bit of an Asian zing!

  11. I’ll admit, I’m not a huge soup person unless it is hearty and thick. Last night I made Curried Bean and Sweet Potato soup! Yum!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      I’m the SAME way! I definitely need some sustenance when it comes to soup…not a big fan of purees…unless it’s tomato and served with a bangin’ grilled cheese! 😉

  12. D says:

    There’s a Panera Bread really close by and I’ve been meaning to try it out for ages – will definitely have to swing by some time in the new year!

  13. mmm… I LOVE paneras black bean soup!! YUM!

  14. Yep, Panera is Souper good. There’s one a 15 minute walk from my house, and I couldn’t be happier. Their ingredients are top notch too. Back in my carnivore days, I loved their Broccoli Cheddar. Damn chicken stock!!! Now I have to settle for tomato or black bean. Sigh.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh yeah, that creamy tomato has definitely been calling my name…one of the only puree soups that I will eat! Of course, that’s mainly because I know I’ll also be getting a grilled cheese too! 😉

  15. Mmmmm that chicken stew looks really good! I think that might be new, I haven’t tried it yet. I might have to get a bowl when I go on Thursday!

  16. jodie says:

    Their Poppyseed Chicken salad is amazing. I think that’s what it is called? It is seasonal to summer. My favorite soup is my mom’s chili and yes I consider holiday a soup :)

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Chili is MOST DEFINITELY a soup…the best kind of soup…thick and HEARTY! I’m totally kicking myself for getting all the way to December without breaking out the crockpot for a batch!

  17. jodie says:

    Chili …not holiday 😉

  18. Jessie says:

    There was once a time in my life where I literally went to Panera EVERY.SINGLE.DAY for 4-5 months straight. #addicted?? =)

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Wow, that’s impressive…and expensive! Lol Of course, I used to do the same thing 4-5 days a week with Starbucks when I was in college! Lol

  19. Allie says:

    My panera order is always black bean soup with a whole grain baguette. If I’m not in there in the morning for a bagel with peanut butter. Although now that I know they have biscuits…

  20. Susan says:

    I love Panera! Their bistro onion soup is my favorite :)

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