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Panera Bread serves wonderful soups that are pretty close to the taste of homemade soups. They also sell a wide variety of soups. Broccoli and cheddar soup, squash soup, chicken noodle soup, tomato soup, french onion soup and chili are just a few of the wonderful selections.
You can order soup to-go if you want to pick it up and then eat it later. This is a great way to enjoy the warmth of a great restaurant prepared meal without having to leave the comfort of your own home.
If you have extra soup from Panera you might be wondering whether you can freeze it to keep it from going to waste. Well the good news is that you can!
You can freeze Panera soups, but not every soup reacts the same to freezing. Soups with dairy ingredients will require special treatment and contrary to what you might imagine, that treatment comes after freezing, not before.
You can even freeze portions of the Panera soup if you are not ready to eat the entire container.
When it comes to the noodle soups, it is not recommended to freeze them as the noodles probably will not be able to survive still tasting good from the freezer. The noodles may be mushy after thawing.
Panera Bread’s broccoli cheddar soup is one of the favorite soups of many people. When you bring home the Panera Bread broccoli cheddar soup you will get the delicious, classic taste of broccoli cheddar soup in your own home.
Save time on prep work and kitchen cleanup whether you reheat this fully in the microwave using the included containers or go the stovetop route. This makes Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup perfect for a household of one or many!
Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup works great as a freezer meal stored in a ziploc bag. Even though there is some dairy in it, when you properly reheat this soup after freezing it comes out just as good as it was when it was freshly made.
A good broccoli cheddar on a snowy day can cheer up even the bluest of winter blues.
How Do You Freeze Panera Soups?
The procedure will be the same for most soup variants from Panera Bread (except for noodle soups). The first thing to keep in mind is the importance of cooling the Panera soups.
It is preferable to use the fridge for this purpose, otherwise, bacteria will thrive in it as it sits on the counter, potentially leading you to contract food poisoning or foodborne illness.
After around 15-20 minutes of refrigerator time, transfer the soup into airtight freezer containers or bags, seal them after squeezing out all the air, and store them in the freezer.
Be mindful that you need to save some space in the container or bag between the soup and the lid. This space should be approximately 1 inch. By doing this, you will allow the liquid to expand as it freezes.
Most liquids will expand when frozen so leaving some space between the lid and the soup lessens the risk of compromising the seal and splattering soup all over your freezer, ruining the entire meal in the process.
Conversely, if you underfill the containers, you’ll risk freezer burn on your soup with the cold air that circulates over the surface.
In the case of the chicken noodle soup, it would probably be better if you tried to use the noodles and only save the broth. After you’ve thawed the broth, you could add it to a new bowl of homemade noodles instead.
When stored in the freezer, you should try to consume the Panera soup within 2 months after freezing. The soup will not go bad beyond that time, but it will not be as fresh.
How Do You Thaw Frozen Panera Soups?
To thaw the soup correctly, pull the container of Panera soup out of the freezer, transfer it into the refrigerator and let it rest there for the night. This way, the moisture will slowly be reabsorbed by the broth, regaining some of the original smoothness.
This is the best way to defrost virtually any Panera soup, especially the parmesan and cheddar-based Panera soups.
Other defrosting techniques will most likely turn the soup chunky and soggy, but if you are on a tight schedule, you can pour the contents into a microwave friendly bowl and set the microwave to defrost.
Stop the microwave from time to time to stir the soup. If you are thawing the dairy based soups, you may need to add milk or sour cream to get a good consistency back in your soup.
You can also thaw the frozen Panera soup in a saucepan on the stove. You could reheat the non-dairy soups just like you would any other homemade soup recipe, but it is not really ideal.
Nevertheless, if you decide to thaw frozen Panera soups in a saucepan, try to at least add some broth or water at the bottom of the saucepan first, to avoid scorching the soup.
Panera soups with cheese or dairy ingredients will require a little more care when reheating. The texture will definitely get severely damaged if you try to bypass the defrosting process.
First thaw the soup slowly and then stir it constantly and vigorously in the saucepan at medium-to-low heat to reclaim the lost consistency, while also stirring in the milk or sour cream if you need it.
A Brief History Of Panera
Panera Bread Company is an American chain store of bakery style cafe casual restaurants with over 2,000 locations, all of which are in the United States and Canada.
In 1987, Ken and Linda Rosenthal founded The St. Louis Bread Company with the first location in Kirkwood, Missouri. It’s headquarters are now in Sunset Hills, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.
The company still operates as Saint Louis Bread Company in the Greater St. Louis area, where it has over 100 locations. Offerings include bakery items, pasta, salads, sandwiches, soups, and specialty drinks.
As of 2020, the menu also includes flatbread pizzas.
The company, which also owns Au Bon Pain, is owned by JAB Holding Company which is, in turn, owned by the Reimann family of Germany.
Panera offers a wide array of pastries and baked goods, such as bagels, brownies, cookies, croissants, muffins, and scones. These, along with Panera’s artisan breads, are typically baked before dawn by an on staff baker.
Aside from the bakery section, Panera has a regular menu for dine in or take out including: flatbreads, panini, Panera Kids, pastas, salads, sandwiches, side choices, and soups, as well as coffee, espresso drinks, frozen drinks, fruit smoothies, hot chocolate, iced drinks, lattes, lemonade, and tea.