My tastes & eating habits have evolved a lot over the past few years, going from a steady diet of microwave popcorn with spray butter & pasta with the cheapest jarred sauce in college to what you see here on this blog every day…mostly whole foods & well rounded homemade dishes. I read somewhere that your tastebuds morph over the course of about seven years, so that sounds about right. Give or take a few years.
Throughout these years one thing has remained the same. If I walk into a Panera Bread (which, admittedly, isn’t nearly as often as it used to be), I will order the Broccoli Cheddar soup. I just love the stuff, & especially crave it when I’m sick (extra black pepper, please), which is why I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of DailyBuzz Tastemaker Program with Panera Soups.
I was initially hoping we would be chosen to create a Panera inspired recipe, giving us an excuse to try & recreate my beloved Broccoli Cheddar. We weren’t, but that’s okay because I probably would be dangerous armed with that kind of knowledge.
Instead, we received a gift card & headed to the nearest Panera for dinner. I swear up & down that I was thisclose to ordering the Chicken Sonoma Stew with Dry Jack Biscuit because it sounds delicious, especially that biscuit, but it was cold & I was tired & I fell right in to my comfortable Broccoli Cheddar routine. Tom’s usually a sandwich guy, but stepped right up & chose the French onion soup as part of his You Pick Two.
My Broccoli Cheddar was as creamy & satisfying as always. I was even pleasantly surprised to see that it only clocks in at 220 calories for the You Pick Two portion & 300 calories for the full size bowl. The French Onion was a little disappointing to look at, with none of the croutons & melted cheese that typically tops each bowl, but the taste wasn’t at all disappointing…it was rich, with almost a slow cooked flavor.
Panera Bread did send us a gift card to purchase these soups & we are being compensated for our time, but the thoughts expressed are 100% ours. We can & will continue to spend our hard earned cash on my broccoli cheddar & Tom’s sandwich habits.