Panera Bread™ Black Bean Soup

  • Yield : 1 quart
  • Servings : 4-6
  • Prep Time : 30m
  • Cook Time : 60m
  • Ready In : 1:30 h

Panera Bread™ offers fresh and healthy options for you to enjoy a quick meal. Everything is fresh and if you are careful in your selection, relatively healthy. One of the best things you can eat is their black bean soup. It’s a high protein low fat option that goes very well with a nice piece of crusty bread. The taste is amazing and suprisingly simple to make at home. In fact, if you need a quick weekday dinner for the family, this delicious restaurant recipe can easily be modified for a slow cooker while you’re out of the house.

I suggest using canned black beans, but note that the sodium levels are going to be very high.  If you have time, it is always best to cook your own beans at home.  If you start soaking them the night before you can have them cooked up and ready to use after about a hour of cooking.  Of course, if you’re pressed for time, you can always use the canned beans.  I know Bush’s offers a reduced sodium black bean that is about half of the salt you get in the regular ones without compromising on the taste.  So, let’s get cooking:


  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Celery Stalks
  • 1/4 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cans Black Beans (15 oz) – I use reduced sodium
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Lemon Juice (approx. 1/2 a lemon)


Step 1

Chop the onions, celery and bell pepper and mince the garlic.

Step 2

Add the oil to a large pot over a medium high heat and then add the vegetables. Saute until your onions are translucent.

Step 3

Add the chicken broth and raise the heat to high.

Step 4

Add your black beans along with the salt and ground cumin and bring to a boil.

Step 5

Reduce heat to a slow rolling boil and let cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 6

Using a potato masher, work the beans until you’ve reached the desired consistency. I like there to be a good number of whole beans still in the soup, which is just how Panera does it.

Step 7

Add the lemon juice and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

Step 8

Serve in individual bowls with your favorite garnish (sour cream, chopped green onions, etc.)

Recipe Type: Ingredients:

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I agree this was not as good as panera and didn't taste like it but it wasn't bad either. I pureed it at the end because I felt like it was still too chunky.


Can't wait to make it. Sounds good.


Excellent. I doubled the quantity of garlic and used a full teaspoon of cumin. I also used half a bell pepper. I didn't have any lemon juice available. Would recommend not putting the garlic in until the rest of the vegetables are nearly cooked - minced garlic cooks very quickly. Served it up with a sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese.

If you are concerned about your sodium intake, you should also be careful to use low sodium chicken broth.


Absolutely love this recipe! I forgot to put the lemon juice in and it was still great!

If you are using dry beans, it takes about 3 cups with the liquid they were soaking in. I rinsed mine and didn't use the liquid and wished I had at the end because I wanted to let it simmer/wait for me on the stove for a couple hours. Oh, and I used beef broth because of food allergies in the family. Yummy! Definitely recommend!!!

Unofficial "Chef" who loves to share..

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