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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Roasted Pumpkin Soup

ROASTED PUMPKIN SOUP
Panera Bread Restaurant Copycat Recipe

Soup:
1 large pumpkin, about 5 pounds
4 cups of chicken, beef, or vegetable broth
2 cups heavy cream
1 extra large loaf of Panera French bread
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried ground sage
1 1/2 cup s grated Gruyere cheese
grated nutmeg
olive oil, for crostini

Herb Butter (optional):
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped parsley

For the Herb Butter:  Mix the room temperature butter with thyme (1/8 teaspoon) and parsley. Blend until smooth and herbs are evenly distributed.

To make the Soup:  Test to make sure the pumpkin, with the top on, will fit inside the over on the lowest rack without touching the roof! You may have to shorten the stem on the lid. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut off the top of the pumpkin. Scrape out the seeds and stringy fibers from the flesh, making sure not to cut through the sides of the pumpkin since it becomes the cooking container for the broth. Place the pumpkin on a rimmed baking sheet.

Pour the broth into a large mixing bowl. Add the cream and stir. Slice two-thirds of the French loaf into 1/2" thick pieces. Toast the slices of bread and spread with the herb butter, if desired. Place one slice of buttered toast in the bottom of the pumpkin. Sprinkle with a mixture of thyme and sage, and then lightly cover with a layer of grated cheese. Ladle in just enough broth to cover the slice of bread. Repeat the layers until the pumpkin is 3/4 full. Do not exceed 3/4 full; the filling will expand during baking.

Sprinkle a pinch of nutmeg on the surface of the soup. Place the lid on the pumpkin and slide the baking sheet into the oven. Bake for approximately 2 hours or until the pumpkin is tender. Carefully remove the pumpkin from the oven and take to the table on the baking sheet or platter.

For the Crostini:   Slice the leftover French bread into 1/4 thick pieces. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and bake until golden – about 10 minutes.




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