Posts Tagged ‘panera’

No, You DON’T Need Chicken Broth to Make Soup, Thanks.

Every time I walk into Panera Bread, I look up at the menu and die a little on the inside because all I want is Broccoli Cheddar Soup, but of course, it’s made with chicken broth. Tell me why they can’t make it with vegetable broth?  Some of my friends like to tell me that the taste is significantly improved with the stewed dead animal base, but I will never be able to judge for myself.

When I was in Geneva last spring, I found myself thinking, What should I make for dinner? I have… broccoli. And cheese. OH HEY. Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Okay, so it may have been Broccoli Gruyère Soup, but Gruyère is better than cheddar anyway (and it IS available at Star Market in the imported/specialty cheese sections.  It’s a bit pricey, $20/lb, so I don’t really recommend adding it to your weekly/bi-monthly grocery list.)

Here’s the recipe for Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup, altered to account for my vegetarianism:

Vegetarian Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Substitute Gruyère in same quantity if you’re feeling international)

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 pound fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar


Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux). Add the vegetable stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now. Pour in batches into blender and puree. Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.


Sandwiches. And no, not just PB & J.

I tend to grow bored of eating the same or similar types of foods really easily.  Growing up, I frustrated my mother countless times when I told her I was sick of [insert food item of choice here] and didn’t want to eat that for another month or so.  Since my take-out food options for afternoon snacks/early dinner were already limited she would continually search out new food options or simply ignore my protests.

1) Subway Veggie Delite

veggie delite

I’ll admit, this is my favorite veggie sandwich when eating out.  Though I ask the Subway food preps to change their gloves (annoying the customers in line behind me) and to wipe down the counters and use a clean knife, the sandwich itself never fails to deliver.  My favorite type of bread is the Parmesan Garlic, and I load the sandwich with American cheese, lettuce, cucumbers, green peppers, banana peppers, jalapeños, pickles, onions, black olives, and a mix of seasoning.  Ask for spicy mustard – it’s not actually spicy, it’s just a better flavor – mayonnaise (unless you’re vehemently opposed to it), oil and vinegar.  Best combination ever.

If you’re just aching for a hot sandwich – try the Flatbread Veggie Delight with the same toppings listed above, but ask for the bread toasted. It’s a whole new level of delicious.

2) Panera Bread Mediterranean Veggie I liked this sandwich much more on the original ciabatta bread with the cucumber sauce.  While you have the option of switching out the tomato basil bread to ciabatta, the corporation has ceased to offer the cucumber sauce. Instead, the sandwich includes “Zesty Peppadew piquant peppers,” which to me are entirely too sweet, contrasting sharply with the rest of the sandwich.  The cucumber sauce was replaced by cilantro Jalapeño hummus, whose flavor is lost in the expanse of the sandwich.  I do like the ingredients of the sandwich otherwise: feta cheese, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions (hold the tomatoes, please).

3) Espresso Royale Caffe – There are two locations in Boston I’m familiar with.  I usually go to the location on Commonwealth Ave, in the center of BU’s campus.  The restaurant on Newbury St. provides the same menu options, so really it’s a matter of convenience.  There are a variety of bagel sandwich options available here, and everything is vegetarian friendly.  The sunrise sandwich is one of my favorites – scrambled eggs, bagel of choice… unless you’re vegan, there’s no way to go wrong with this one.

So, sandwiches? Seriously Delicious.

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