Soup | November 30, 2016

ABK’s Sharing Soup

Christmas is the most magical time of the year! There are so many reasons to love this season. I love the lights we see everywhere at Christmas time. The lights reminds us of Jesus Christ, who is the light and life of the world. I’d love to give you a few ideas to Light the World this Christmas, including making a simple soup you can serve to those around you!

ABK's Sharing Soup

It’s easy to become wrapped up in the hoopla  of Christmas. So many gifts to buy, decorations to set up, cards to send. There’s wrapping, baking, parties and events…so much bustle. So much hustle.  How often do we pause think about why we celebrate Christmas? Many years ago, when our kids were young, we initiated Christmas family traditions in our home. A lot of those traditions were meaningful, but some were just fluff. As the years went by, I started to wonder if we (I)  had created so many “must-do” traditions, that we were spinning ourselves into a crazy frenzy at Christmas, instead of really focusing on what matters most, honoring and celebrating the birth of the Savior…


Over 2000 years ago, the most significant birth in the history of the world took place!  The birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the light and life of the world and we celebrate His birth every year at Christmas. The life of Christ is recorded in writings and is found in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ. His ministry, teachings and love, are all recorded for us to learn how to be more like Him.


Looking back, the most meaningful experiences we have had as a family at Christmas were the years we focused on serving. Are you wondering how you can make a difference? And how you can make Christmas different this year?  I love this advent calendar  from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The calendar suggests “In 25 ways, over 25 days” simple acts of service to help you and your family follow the example of Christ and share His light in the month of December!


Because I love everything about food, I especially love December 7, a day designated to feed the hungry.   “Jesus fed the hungry and so can you”.  For years, I have tossed around the idea of making a batch of chili, and taking it downtown to share with our brothers and sisters in need. I’ve shared meals by simply dropping off food I have purchased in the past, but never quite in the way I envisioned. At the end of this post, I explain in detail how we carried out this simple service. If you have a project in mind, but have never put it into action, December is the perfect time to reach out to those in need!



Here are a few ways you can share His love:
Matthew 25:35  “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink…”

  1. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.  We have done this several times at one of our local shelters, The Road Home. Look for opportunities to donate and serve in a shelter in your area. There are so many ways to serve! At The Road Home groups can bring in meals ready to serve and sack lunches can be donated to preschool age children who are in the shelter during the day.
  2. Invite a neighbor over who may be struggling financially and share a meal. Often times we forget about senior citizens on fixed incomes who would welcome some company and a meal.
  3. Organize a food drive, collect and donate food to your local food bank. This can be on a small scale, amongst family, friends and neighbors.
  4. Assemble pantry packs for school children to use on weekends. This is a great project for youth groups. If this program is not in place in your community, send me an email and I’ll connect you with someone who can give you more information. Many school children receive financial aid toward breakfast and lunch while they are at school during the day, but have limited access to food while they are at home on the weekends. This program provides children who are in need  pre-packaged meals for the weekends.
  5. Gather a few friends or family members , prepare ABK’s Sharing Soup, package it up, get in your car and share. It’s really simple,  read below for “how to” and our experience…

ABK's Sharing Soup

ABK’s Sharing Soup recipe is one you can use if you want to “feed the hungry” this Christmas. The cost of the soup averages less than $1.00 per serving and is hearty and full of home made goodness without being too time consuming. The recipe is adaptable to use either ground beef or ground turkey,  and white or red  beans. It takes about 15 minutes to mix up and is ready to package up in less than 30 minutes. Here’s how we carried out feeding 50  in less than 3 hours, start to finish (including shopping and delivery time):

1:00 pm –   Trip to grocery to purchase ingredients for Sharing Soup:  50 12-16 oz cups with tight fitting lids, 50 rolls, sandwich bags, plastic spoons, lunch sacks, 50 water bottles. It is helpful to have bins or cardboard boxes to place lunch sacks in after filling with soup cups. A container with sides is best so the sacks won’t tip over while transporting.
1:45 –  Make 3 batches of soup – this process will be quick if you have help!

2:30 –  Let soup simmer, bag rolls individually into sandwich size ziplock, place in lunch sacks.

3:00 –  Scoop hot soup into cups, place lids on cups. Place soup cups into sacks with roll. Place spoon in each sack.

3:30 – Place filled sacks in car along with water bottles. If you are setting up in one place and handing out food, a folding table may be helpful.

4:00 – Arrived at park. We decided walking through a park where many of the homeless gather would be the best option for our group. We took  bins of pre-filled sacks and distributed soup and water to those in need. We carried the water separately from the soup to keep the soup from spilling in the sack. We made a couple of trips back and forth to the car, so we weren’t trying to carry all of the sacks at one time.


I enlisted the help of three of my kids (all grown) to help. It was a humbling experience to walk through the park and share food with people in need. We talked to many  people, who came from all walks of life. Some were refugees, some young, some old, some with drug addictions and some suffering from mental health issues. All are God’s children.  The faces of the people and their expressions of gratitude for a sack of food have stayed in my mind  long after that fall day in the park…
I hope this post will inspire you to look for ways to serve,  and in particular, feed the hungry this Christmas. There is no greater gift we can give to the Savior than to share His light and love. Each small act of kindness will help light the world!


5 from 1 vote

ABK's Sharing Soup

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 15 1 cup servings
Author Si Foster, A Bountiful Kitchen


  • 1.5 lb ground turkey or ground beef
  • 2 cups or one large onion chopped
  • salt and pepper about 1 teaspoon each
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 10 oz can Rotel dice tomatoes and green chilies I used mild
  • 3- 15 oz cans small white beans or small red beans
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 12 oz frozen corn


  1. Brown the ground turkey or ground beef in a large stockpot with chopped onion over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Drain any fat if using ground beef.
  2. Add oregano leaves, cumin and 2 cloves chopped garlic. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Add all canned ingredients. Do not drain cans.
  4. Add chicken broth, bring to boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add corn and cook for another 5 minutes or until mixture is hot.

Recipe Notes

-The recipe as written will serve about 8-10 served in soup bowls, or 15- 8 oz servings.

-If you are making this soup for 50, increase the amount of beans to 4 cans per recipe, and 3x times the recipe. You will have about 50 generous one cup servings.

-Purchasing a Styrofoam cup with a 12-16 oz capacity is best to keep the soup from spilling. Make sure the lids you purchase fit tightly as well. The cups in the photographs are Kroger brand cups and lids. They were 16 oz cups, and the cups were filled a little over 1/2 full.

-If the cups are filled when the soup is hot, the Styrofoam will keep the soup warm for a long period of time.

58 thoughts on “Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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Recipe Rating

  1. Yum!! My parents live in Farmington and every time they cone visit me in Seattle we have to make a stop at panera….???? Thanks for dinner tonight!! I am pregnant and cant plan meals ahead right now to save my life….this looks good and I don't need to hit the g. store!!! Love everything you share!!! Have a good one!

    1. Thanks Jen! I wish we had Panera here, Im a big fan of their breads. Such a fun lunch spot! Hope all is well with your pregnancy. It is hard to stay motivated to cook when you're dealing with being pregnant!

    1. Hi Christine,
      I have not shared that recipe yet, but will make sure to do it soon. I tis really simple and one I throw together when I'm in a hurry. Thanks for the reminder!
      Happy cooking 🙂

    1. I think this recipe will work with frozen broccoli, not as good as fresh, I would chop the pieces small. Let us know if you try it with frozen!

      1. I made it tonight with Costco’s frozen broccoli and it was incredible. I let the broccoli thaw and then cut it up and added it after the carrots had cooked for a bit. Everyone loved the soup!

  2. 5 stars
    I just made this soup for this first time and it’s delicious!!
    Definitely will be making it again. My kids were fighting over who had more 🙂 Thank you!!

  3. 5 stars
    I whipped this up for quick dinner and it really hit the spot for my family. I was out of baby carrots so I added celery. It’s just the right amount of cheese and the chicken broth gives it a delicious flavor. We loved that the broccoli was still crunchy and delicious too. Thanks for the great idea. As usual.

    1. You’re welcome, Emily! I love this recipe too, especially on colder days. Great idea to use celery! Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK,

  4. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Someone asked about frozen broccoli….I had frozen some roasted broccoli a few weeks ago and used it. I just added it (I gave it an extra chop, but it was still slightly frozen)after the carrots and onions were softened. It worked great!

    And, just a reminder…don’t let boil after you add the milk or it can funny.

    We will definitely make again!!

  5. 5 stars
    My whole family loves this soup! I love that all of my picky eaters will fill up their bowls. We especially love dipping the twisted breadsticks in it. This recipe is so quick and simple to make. I usually have the ingredients on hand, so it is one of our go-to hearty meals in a pinch! Thank you!!

    1. That’s why I love this soup too, Emily. I usually have most of the ingredients and everyone loves it. Great idea to serve it with twisted breadsticks. Sounds so yummy! Thanks for sharing,

  6. 5 stars
    We love love love this soup!!! My picky 3 year old asks for it daily! It’s one of the only things he will eat. We make it weekly and love how quick and easy it is. I always have the things needed on hand. Thank You Si!!!

    1. This recipe is perfect, even for the pickiest of eaters. I love how easy it is to make too, MJ. Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK!

  7. 5 stars
    I made this last night for my husband whose favorite soup is Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar and it was a hit! I made it exactly as directed and it was so creamy and delicious and a crowd pleaser… even the kids loved it. Thank you so much for the recipe. This will be one of our go-tos from now on.

    1. I’m so glad your family enjoyed it, Marlene. It’s one of our favorite soups to make too. Thanks for sharing!

  8. 5 stars
    I made this the first time, for a friend, and it turned out perfectly! So perfect that she told me her daughter’s favorite restaurant was Bread Co. (Panera to everyone outside of St. Louis) and her daughter said it was even better. I was pleasantly surprised. 🙂 I made it the next night for my family and let it sit just a tad too long with after the cream/half&half was added and it flopped so I learned that part of the instructions were really important. Third time’s a charm as I’ll be making this over and over again! Thanks Si!

    1. Hi Amy, sometimes the little details are what makes this soup so good. I’m glad you and your family enjoyed it, it’s definitely one of my favorite soups to make. It will only get better the more you make it! Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK,

  9. 5 stars
    I doubled this recipe for our family of 10. I cooked it in the Instant Pot on sauté mode and we ended up toasting some Grandma Sycamore bread to go with it and had a green salad. Fabulous dinner! No leftovers whatsoever! Thank you for the recipe-I’ll add it to our regular rotation! I love finding food that’s a hit with our gang of teenagers, middles, and littles!

    1. That sounds delicious, Sarah! I’m so glad you enjoyed this soup as much as our family has. Thanks for sharing,

  10. 5 stars
    Made this recipe last night, and it was easy and delicious! Our whole family loved it, including my picky toddler. Thanks for sharing it!

  11. 5 stars
    I have never tried Panera’s version of this soup but I really enjoyed this recipe. I thought it was very simple and all the ingredients were normal household ingredients that most people have in their home. I made a few adjustments: I used 3 C chicken broth and 1 C water. I still felt like there was plenty of flavor and a bit healthier. I didn’t have Tabasco sauce so I used a few drops of Tapatio hot sauce. Overall, 5 STAR rating!

    1. Thank you, Megan! I’m glad you were able to make some healthier substitutions that worked for you. I know this is especially helpful for anyone looking to cut out a few calories and still enjoy this yummy soup.

    1. Hi Jules, I usually let it simmer until it thickens up in consistency. The end result is a fairly thick soup. Thanks for asking and for reading ABK!

  12. 5 stars
    Made this soup today for company that was over. So delicious! Perfect for a cold, rainy day. Thanks for sharing! Also, I’m gushing over your pots – where are they from?!

  13. 5 stars
    This recipe WOWS both adults and children alike every time I make it. My 3 and 4 year olds beg for ‘Vegetable Soup’ anytime I let them choose what’s for dinner. I add as many veggies as I have on hand. The mustard and hot sauce give a subtle depth of flavor fit for a fancy restaurant—but it’s not anything that throws off my in-laws who don’t believe in any kind of spice or flavoring outside of salt and pepper. It’s just a win all around.

  14. 5 stars
    Very very good, would probably just add 1/2 teaspoon of mustard instead of a full 1 teaspoon. Was a little too much for my taste. Didn’t have any hot sauce so just threw some red pepper flakes in and it turned out great!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe Jillian, it’s perfect for altering to your own preferences. Thank you for sharing and for reading ABK!

  15. 5 stars
    Favorite broccoli cheddar soup! Even my 2yo loves it! It’s so easy and I love that it’s made with real cheese. Better than Panera‘s I think 🙂

  16. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! If you make this, you’re going to really want to make the garlic twisted breadsticks! I only had mild cheddar cheese on hand, so I added a little bit of Swiss cheese as well in an effort to add a bit more flavor. I also used frozen broccoli, but it turned out great! Hopefully I’ll be able to use the sharp cheddar next time.

  17. 4 stars
    This was easy to prep and cook as directed and was received by the rest of the Family as a reminder of a famous Restaurant soup. I had to tell them.
    Except for the temperatures and time details with each step, I was a little lost. The vegetables will be slightly steamed before adding to the pot next time to soften more. Will enjoy leftovers even better tomorrow. Following as directed, this made more than four servings; two ladles per bowl. Very filling, comforting, and delicious.

    1. Hi McKenna, the hot sauce gives the soup a little bit of vinegar that really makes the flavor profile amazing.
      Thanks for reading ABK,

  18. Love love love this soup! I made a big pot for dinner one night, and it lasted my husband so long to have for lunch throughout the week! We didn’t have any hot sauce, but it still turned out super yummy. I definitely want to try it with Tabasco next time! Also need to try the bread sticks with it! I loved how fast it was to make though!

    1. Hi Allie, yes you need to try this soup with the breadsticks! I LOVE making this during the fall because it’s so easy and filling.
      Thank you for sharing and for reading ABK,