Warm your soul, as the cold months approach and sickness flourishes, with something piping hot. The one thing that always seems to make me feel better when temperatures drop is...soup. Whether it is homemade, from a can, or ordered out of a restaurant it always helps take the winter chill out of the air. Recently, I have been trying the variety of soups that Panera Bread has to offer, as a way to see what soups will be my go-to this winter and which ones should be yours too.

I tried seven of the eight soups at Panera (I steered away from the French Onion soup since I'm not a fan of onions). Six were from the restaurant and one was one they offer only in stores. The soups I tried were: chicken tortilla, tomato, vegetarian autumn squash, turkey chili, chicken noodle, broccoli cheddar, and cream of chicken and wild rice. 

While none of them were a disappointment here is how I would rate the soups and when I think it's the perfect time to enjoy them!

The Ratings:

Soup is something that is so underrated but needs to be given more hype. These ratings are based on my personal interests and likes. Honestly, there was nothing bad about any of these soups, in fact, ranking them was extremely difficult. But it was something that needed to be done as cold weather approaches. All of these options can come in a regular bowl or a bread bowl dependent on your mood, but how could you go wrong with a bread bowl?!

7. Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice 

There was nothing bad about this soup, but there was nothing that really stood out to me about it either. It is probably not one that I will be rushing to get again but the flavors were still there and they were good. 

I think my biggest problem with it is I am a big fan of chicken and rice soup, however, I do not think I really liked the creamy consistency of this soup. I did, however, really enjoy the way the vegetables, chicken, and rice all came together to create a delicate flavor in my mouth. 

The best time to eat this soup would be during a cold or right as you are getting over a cold. It gives a similar vibe to chicken noodle soup, so it's perfect to help warm your soul when you are feeling under the weather but are tired or need a change from plain old chicken noodle soup. 

6. Tomato Soup

The tomato soup was delicious. It was rich and flavorful and warmed my taste buds. It's some of the best tomato soup I have had, and I really enjoyed how rich and thick it was. It made you feel like you would feel full after you finish versus something thin that makes you feel as though you did not eat anything. 

I ranked this at six though because I am not a huge tomato soup girly. Will I eat it with a grilled cheese...100% and thankfully Panera offers the "You-Pick-Two" so I could get a grilled cheese. But that combo is rarely something that I am craving. 

As the cold winter months approach this will probably be something I get when I need a pick me up while studying or while I sit watching Netflix in bed on a snowy day. That is what I would say is the best time to get this soup/meal combo. It will definitely be the school pick me up you need to feel like you can power through the rest of the day. 

5. Vegetarian Autumn Squash 

Wow, this soup was amazing, but it was amazing for like five bites before I got a little bored of it. There was nothing in it, similar to tomato soup, it was really just a creamy broth. But the flavors were immaculate. There was a touch of cinnamon that was not overpowering but did the job of adding flavor and it complimented the squash flavor amazingly. 

This soup plus the French baguette that Panera offers is the perfect pairing for a quick bite. The flavors of this soup really were incredible, but I did get a little tired of it after a while and could not finish the whole cup. It is, however, my older sister's favorite soup that Panera offers so I definitely think it is worth checking out. 

 The best time to grab a cup of this soup would be between Halloween and Thanksgiving. It gives off such a fall vibe that makes you feel like you're living in a fall dream and prepares you for the cold that is to come. It seems as though it is a limited-time soup that they offer so I would definitely give it a try before it's too late. 

4. Turkey Chili

Let me preface by saying I am not a chili person. I have never really liked chili and it always bugs my parents on football game days when they want to have chili because it is quick and easy. But this chili was really good. I really enjoyed all the flavors and the different ingredients that are not normally found in chili.

Usually my biggest issue is the beans in chili. I am not a huge bean person, but there weren't a ton of beans in this chili. Rather, it had a good balance between a few things - turkey, beans, chickpeas, edamame, carrots and tomatoes. Together they worked together to make a chili that I actually enjoyed. 

I would definitely recommend this on a day when it's cold and you want something warm but substantial. It is also the perfect game day food. I can't imagine something better than eating a bowl of this while watching football.

3. Broccoli Cheddar

The broccoli cheddar soup from Panera has always been one of my go to items. I love how rich and creamy it is and how you can taste all the flavors of the broccoli and the cheddar both separate and together. It is a magical experience in your mouth. 

This soup has a perfect balance between a creamy base and chunks of broccoli. It is extremely yummy and always something I enjoy eating when I get the chance. 

I would eat this soup whenever, it is something I am always in the mood for and not something that would match just one particular mood or time. When you need a pick me up in the cold this is the soup I would turn to. 

2. Chicken Noodle Soup 

I love chicken noodle soup, so this one obviously gets a high rating from me. It always helps me to feel better when I am feeling under the weather or when I need a pick me up because I am just feeling overwhelmed and run down. It really is such a universal soup that I can't stay away from. 

I like this soup because it has the vegetables that some don't have, it's got the chicken and it's got the good noodles and together they work together to seriously warm you up. The flavors of this soup are really good. They are not overpowering but they are delicate and delicious and always a good pick me up when I need it. 

This soup is always a go to for me and it should be one for you too. It is so comforting and on top of being a pick me up it always reminds me of home when I am feeling homesick. 

1. Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup is my go-to all the time. It is my favorite type of soup in general but Panera really knocks this one out of the park. The flavors are delightful, there is a hint of spice but it is not overpowering, it is packed with black beans, chicken, corn and more. And it all works together to create a party of flavors in your mouth that is really unlike anything else. It is especially good when you can pair it with tortilla chips to give it a little crunch. 

As amazing as it soup is the one downfall is you cannot purchase it in the restaurant, at least right now. But you can get it at grocery stores and then heat it yourself. It is a little more work but it is so worth it. 

This soup is great for any and all occasions especially as it gets cold. It warms your tastebuds and leaves you very satisfied. I have seen it at Target in the food section so I would definitely pick this up next time you are food shopping and I promise you won't be disappointed. 

In Conclusion

In the end, there Panera has a soup for any and all feelings or events that may happen this winter. These soups will surely warm your soul and make you feel ready to brave the cold that will soon be upon us. 

Here is the menu for Panera so you can take a look at what winter soups you want to enjoy to help you battle the cold air of the winter months. If you want to find the chicken tortilla soup that I strongly recommend, click here