Panera style! Recently I had lunch with a good friend. She had been telling me about some new broth bowl soups Panera was offering. After trying one and really liking it I decided to experiment to see what I could come up with. While my effort was not the same (I was out of miso – a fermented soy bean paste for making broth) it was still very tasty and one you might enjoy trying. One of the ingredients I was unfamiliar with, was something called tomato sofrito. Evidently it’s a sauce made of onion, tomato, garlic, peppers and some seasonings that is Latin American, Puerto Rican or Spanish. It’s served with many different things such as scrambled eggs, rice, in soups and stews. After googling to find a recipe I made some up with some ingredients I had on hand. Next time I do this I’ll make a big batch and freeze it in smaller portions. With precooked frozen lentils and beef bone broth in the freezer, it doesn’t take much effort to put this together.
Some of you may have families that wouldn’t appreciate this soup. If so, make a big pot for yourself and freeze it in individual serving portions. You’ll have a quick lunch any time you are ready. To be honest, I wasn’t sure my husband would enjoy this, but he did!
Since I was making do without a recipe, I don’t have exact ingredient measurements for you today. But really, it’s hard to mess up soup unless you get too many seasonings in, so just add a little at a time and you should be fine.
Since I was experimenting I didn’t make a lot the first time – I really hate throwing out food that I’ve worked hard to prepare! So I had about a quart of homemade beef stock, 1 cup of cooked quinoa, about 2 cups of cooked lentils and some torn up kale. I also had about 1 cup of the sofrito. If a heartier meal is needed you could toss in some leftover cooked chicken. I’d say about 1/2 to 1 cup for this amount of soup. Mix all of that in a pot and bring to a simmer. At that point add some fresh kale and/or spinach and you’ve got a delicious soup! Also, brown rice can be substituted for the quinoa if you prefer. Season with a tablespoon of the miso paste (look in the refrigerator section of your grocery store – or just ask – much easier!) and a couple of dashes of soy sauce. Taste as you go – remember I didn’t have the miso when I made this. To be fancy add a slice of lemon that has been twisted. Note that the picture is actually not this soup as I forgot to take a picture before it was all eaten.
Hope you enjoy it!
- 1 can crushed tomato
- 1 Anaheim or sweet green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 t sweet paprika (I was out so I used some smoked paprika – it worked nicely!)
- Salt and pepper
- Saute onion until transparent, about 5 minutes.
- Add peppers and sauté another 5 minutes
- Add garlic, sauté 1 minute
- Add tomato and paprika and allow to simmer 10 – 15 minutes.