My hubby is a HUGE fan of this soup--originally served to him at a Panera Bread shop. After trying a bowl myself we got on the Panera Bread site to see what was in it and then spent several days in the kitchen trying to recreate this hearty flavorful soup. After lots of note taking, and a small blender mishap, I think we unlocked the secret of the "soup". Note: this is not Low Fat by any stretch of the imagination. Hope you enjoy as much as we do! If you have leftovers it freezes very well and tastes even better once its reheated.
- 1⁄8-1⁄4 cup butter or 1⁄8-1⁄4 cup margarine
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1⁄2 cup carrot, diced
- 1⁄2 cup celery, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1⁄3-1⁄2 cup diced roasted anaheim chili (I use 1 medium sized pepper)
- 4 knorr vegetarian vegetable bouillon cubes (extra lg. cubes)
- 4 cups hot water
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1⁄2 cup boiling water
- 1⁄2 lb sliced good quality American cheese
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1⁄4-1⁄3 cup roasted red pepper, julienne then roughly chop
- 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
- 1⁄4 cup cholula brand hot sauce
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin (cumino)
- Over medium heat melt butter or margarine in a 6 quart stock pot, add onions carrot and celery and sauté until onions are transparent and carrots have softened, add garlic toward the end and allow to soften (about 2 minutes), remove from heat.
- In a blender combine sautéed onions, carrots, celery and garlic with roasted Anaheim chili, 4 cubes of bouillon and 4 cups of hot water-- puree.
- Return vegetable puree to stock pot and place over medium heat, add both packages of cream cheese stirring until completely blended with vegetable puree.
- In separate bowl blend 4 tablespoons of flour with 1/2 cup of the warm cream cheese and vegetable puree mixture to get out lumps then stir in 1/2 cup boiling water, combine with contents of stock pot.
- While stirring the pot bring contents to a boil.
- Allow contents to boil while stirring for about 2 minutes then simmer.
- Add the 1/2 lb of American cheese a couple of slices at a time until melted.
- Once cheese is melted incorporate the can of tomatoes (with juice), roasted red pepper, corn, hot sauce, cayenne pepper and cumin.
- Allow to simmer for at least 1 hour stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Serve and enjoy!