Copycat Panera Bread Garden Vegetable Soup Recipe

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Avatar Author's default profile picture Team Modified: May 26, 2022

This Panera Bread low fat vegetarian garden vegetable soup is a healthier addition to your evening meal with the family! This tomato soup-based Panera soup is loaded with onion, bell peppers, kale, pearled barley, and other herbs and spices to make a nutrient-rich comfort food that will keep you warm during the cold days. Use our copycat recipe to recreate this garden vegetable soup to serve as your very own Panera soup of the day at home. Pair it with slices of toasted tomato bread for dipping. 

Tips on Making Panera Bread Low Fat Vegetarian Garden Vegetable Soup

While the original recipes of Panera Bread soups remain to be a secret, we have crafted this copycat recipe that serves an organic vegetable soup that’s just as delicious using ingredients that you can easily get from the grocery store. Check out these tips on making it:

  • Use the freshest and finest vegetables you can find. The better the quality of the ingredients you use, the better quality and taste your soup will be!
  • Chop the veggies into bite sized pieces. As a result, it’ll be easier to eat them once cooked.
  • Check the sodium content in the soup or broth used. The flavor will concentrate as it cooks. It’s better to use a low-sodium variant so that you get more control on the taste.
  • Add other vegetables into the soup to make it healthier like green beans, carrots, garbanzo beans, or swiss chard, for instance.
  • You can substitute the barley with quinoa to make a quinoa vegetable soup, as well as shirataki noodles, wild rice, sprouted brown rice, or rice noodles. You can also add mushrooms, lentils, or tofu to make it even heartier.
  • Make a big batch of this soup in your dutch oven. Cool and portion them into freezer bags, freeze them, and then you’ll have packs of ready to reheat hearty vegetable soup any time. Just reheat it in the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes on High or on your stove top.

Ready to recreate one of the best Panera soup recipes yet? Let’s get right into making this Panera Bread low fat vegetarian garden vegetable soup.

Copycat Panera Bread Garden Vegetable Soup Recipe

How To Make Copycat Panera Bread Garden Vegetable Soup

5 from 1 vote

With bell peppers, tomatoes, onion, and barley, this Panera Bread low fat vegetarian garden vegetable soup can be recreated at home for a hearty meal.

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 50 mins


  • 10¾ oz condensed tomato soup, (2 cans)
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 4 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup tomatoes, cut into chunks (no need to deseed)
  • 1 cup red onions, cut into chunks
  • ½ cup green or red bell peppers, medium dice
  • ½ cup kale, cut into chunks (trim off hard stems)
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, powdered or grated, or nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Heat some olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Saute until translucent.
  2. Add the tomatoes and bell peppers. Continue sauteing.
  3. Add the tomato paste and roast briefly.
  4. Deglaze with white wine and reduce briefly.
  5. Add the barley, condensed soup, and chicken or vegetable broth.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Continue simmering for 30 minutes until soup has been reduced by roughly ½ and vegetables are tender.
  7. Stir occasionally to avoid burning and to keep the cooked barley from sticking together.
  8. Add the kale and cover to let it wilt.
  9. Add sugar, cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, and cilantro. Stir to combine, until the cheese is incorporated.
  10. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Adjust accordingly. Serve.

Recipe Notes

While chicken broth and parmesan cheese aren’t technically vegetarian, these ingredients are used to help boost the flavor of the soup. Those who are on a strict diet can use the vegetarian alternatives provided in the ingredients list instead.


  • Sugar: 8g
  • :
  • Calcium: 76mg
  • Calories: 221kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 33g
  • Cholesterol: 2mg
  • Fat: 7g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Iron: 2mg
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 4g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
  • Potassium: 594mg
  • Protein: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Sodium: 696mg
  • Vitamin A: 1175IU
  • Vitamin C: 36mg
Nutrition Disclaimer

Frequently Asked Questions

Are vegetables in soup still healthy?

Yes! While there is inevitable nutrient loss in any cooking process, if the vegetables in the soup are prepared well and not overcooked, they will still keep a significant amount of precious nutrients. Plus, there are a lot of vegetables packed into this soup. So you’ll still surely get health benefits from consuming it.

What can I add to vegetable soup to add flavor?

Certainly, you can customize your Panera bread low fat vegetarian garden vegetable soup according to your preference. For instance, add a bit of tahini for a creamy taste, or chili powder, red pepper paste, or aleppo chili for some spice. On the other hand, bay leaves, yeast extract, and soy sauce will add a deeper taste. Also, try adding lime juice or lemon zest for a fresh citrusy taste. Lastly, you can also use canned fire roasted tomatoes instead of fresh ones to add a subtle smokey flair.



Enjoy your vegetables the yummiest way by making this Panera Bread low fat vegetarian garden vegetable soup copycat recipe. With the chunky tomatoes, onions, and peppers, and the hearty tomato soup base, it’ll surely warm and satisfy you.
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