Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup!

My kids love Panera.  They always eat the same thing: a few years back it was a you-pick -two combination of tomato soup and tomato/mozzarella panini; these days it is you-pick -two combination of broccoli cheddar soup and mac-and-cheese.  So when I found a copy cat recipe I was eager to try.  I tried two recipes from two sources: this and this. Both are more or less the same except the first one has celery as an extra ingredient and uses 2 1/2 cups of cheese instead of 1 cup.  I liked the first one better – extra cheese makes the soup more flavorful.  I served the soup today with strawberry salad (another of Panera’s favorite is strawberry/poppyseed salad).  The salad is not an imitation of Panera’s although there is a copycat recipe here.  My sons love a sweet salad and they prefer lemony arugula to other greens so I just toss arugula, sliced strawberries, feta cheese, walnuts with a dressing made from evoo, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup.

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  • Arugula leaves – 1 cup
  • Strawberries – hulled and sliced about 2/3 cup
  • Walnuts – around 10
  • Sunflower seeds – 1/2 tbsp
  • Dried cranberries – 1/2 tbsp
  • Feta cheese – crumbled around 1 tbsp
  • Extra virgin olive oil – 1/2 tbsp*
  • Balsamic vinegar – 1 tsp*
  • Maple syrup – 1 tsp*
  • Dried prunes – 2 roughly chopped (optional)
  • Salt

* Please adjust this according to how much or little dressing you want


  1. Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup
  2. Toss the dressing with the rest of the ingredients
  3. Season with salt and serve