People… it’s happening! It’s finally suppose to snow! We’ve had one light dusting this winter, but the anticipation of accumulation hits the spot leading up to Christmas. I’m already in my comfy sweats and cozy socks with a hot tea in hand peeking out the window non-stop waiting for the first flake. EEEEKKKK!!!
And do you know what screams snowy cold night to me? SOUP!
While I love timeless, homemade soup, sometimes it’s nice to simply have the prep work and clean up done for you… particularly when you just made Christmas cut-out cookies with a 3-year-old. Ay yi yi, there is only so much sweeping and washing I can do some days!
Last night was one of those nights. Justin was gearing up for the snow and I had already spent so much time in kitchen making a few weeks worth of food for Evie (chopping, steaming, pureeing) and making dairy-free Santa cookies with Finn (details tomorrow). Let’s just say… I needed a kitchen break.
Panera was our go-to for that cozy feeling of hot, hit-the-spot soup. (Sidenote: when I think of Panera, I can’t help but think of my first trimester with Evie. I was a carb-o-holic and my favorite treat was a blueberry Panera bagel. No lie. It always hit the spot!)
Since cutting dairy I’ve had to look beyond my Panera comfort soup: Broccoli Cheddar. There is something so fantastic about that bowl of warm, cheesy goodness! It’s like a first love.
But, to save my gut the the gut of Evie, I just can’t do it. This is a good thing, though, as it’s forced me to check out the other soup options at Panera. I logged onto their site to determine which soup might be dairy-free. As it turns out, the Vegetarian Black Bean soup is one of two dairy-free soup options on the menu. (The other is the plain chicken noodle – without biscuits.) It just so happens the black bean is Justin and my dad’s favorite Panera soup, so I knew it was worth a shot!
And it was simply fantastic. Light yet filling. Usually a cup of soup is plenty for me – hits the spot – but I wanted more. So, I did what any self-respecting wife and mom would do: I asked Justin to grab me a napkin from the kitchen and stole a bite of his. I know. I’m terrible! Shhhhhh…. he’ll never know!
(Pardon the lack of photos. My phone was doing some funky business so Justin was able to take the picture above… the only shot he took that was somewhat in focus – ha!)
What I most appreciate about Panera’s website is the ability to see what is in your item with the nutrition calculator.
I was easily able to check out what was in all the soup option. In addition to an ingredient list, as well as allergen information…
… there is also a nutritional breakdown.
As anyone with a food allergy or sensitivity knows, this information is vital.
With the winter snowflakes ready to fall at any moment, let’s share cozy soup stories! What’s your favorite Panera soup?
*As part of the DailyBuzz Food Tastemaker program, I received a gift card and stipend to try Panera Bread soups. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*