By Flavor & The Menu
April 19, 2019
A close look at Panera’s new Ten Vegetable Soup reveals a lot of what modern diners are seeking. The first new soup for the fast casual in three years, it stars slow-simmered vegetarian stock with sprouted short-grain brown rice and Red Fife, wheat berries, black chia seeds and an abundance of vegetables including fire-roasted tomatoes, green garbanzos, red and yellow bell peppers, fire-roasted poblanos, corn, onions, carrots and celery, sun-dried tomato, spinach, and fragrant garlic and basil. It’s finished with tamari, lime juice, lemon zest and Aleppo pepper.
“Developing a soup that has craveable elements is worth going out of your way for, and is both good and good for you, raises the complexity,” says Tom Sadler, VP of Culinary. “We iterated over 75 versions before landing on this version. Of particular challenge was the right blend of grains—not pedestrian but still approachable.”
The soup is vegan, but not marketed as such since the innovative taste profile appeals to a broad mix of customers. “We set out to develop a great-tasting, nutritionally relevant soup that could have broad appeal, incorporate meaningful health and wellness cues, and play across a multitude of calendar seasons,” says Sadler. “It’s a soup packed full of clean, ‘real’ ingredients, and respects our customers’ changing needs.”