Panera Bread (called St. Louis Bread Company in the St. Louis metropolitan area) is a chain of bakery–cafĂ© quick casual restaurants in the United States and Canada that sells breads, sandwiches, soups, salads, and other bakery items. This site will provide copycat recipes and recipes using products sold at the Panera Bread restaurants. Panera Bread Co. has 1,736 bakery cafes in 45 states and Canada under the Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co. and Paradise Bakery & Cafe brands.

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Cheese Soup in Sour Dough Bowls

5 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup cooked ham or bacon, chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and ground black pepper
6 sourdough bread bowls

In a large, heavy stockpot, melt butter or margarine. Add chopped vegetables and ham or bacon and cook over medium heat until vegetables are slightly tender... about 10 minutes.

Stir in flour and cornstarch. Cook, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Add broth and continue stirring until slightly thickened. Add milk and spices. Add cheese gradually, stirring until cheese is melted. To avoid curdling, do not allow soup to boil after cheese is added. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve piping hot in hollowed sourdough bread bowls.

Yield: 6

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