Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Last Week's Meals + copycat Panera recipe

Last week was another full, busy week.  Here's what we ate for dinner.

Sunday - Copycat Panera Bread broccoli cheddar soup in bread bowls - recipe at end of post.


I won't do the bread bowls again.  It was far too much food for any of us to finish and I hate wasting/throwing food away.

Monday - Breaded chicken, sauteed artichokes + cherry tomatoes, roasted baby red potatoes with a pan gravy.  I had leftover chicken stock from the soup I wanted to use up.  I was going to make a thinner sauce - think of chicken piccata - but the kids aren't really fans, so I made a gravy for the potatoes instead.


Tuesday - Rich had a late meeting at work and wouldn't be eating dinner at home.  I had to be at the school right after dinnertime for a parent open house so I didn't want to cook anything elaborate.  I was going to make the girls mac and cheese (Annie's) with peas.  Oh, no.  They wanted me to cook something.  I shouldn't complain.  They could be begging for fast food every night.  We ended up eating spaghetti - quick and easy clean up.

Wednesday - Chili in the crock pot with cornbread.


Thursday - Bacon, egg and cheese on an english muffin or bagel, skillet potatoes.


Friday - Spinach lasagna.  My kids prefer less cheese and more sauce.  For the spinach, I sauteed a bag of baby spinach with some garlic.


Saturday - Out!  I went out with friends (we realized we hadn't gotten together in three years!) and Rich brought the girls out for dinner.

Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

This recipe is all over the internet.  I've modified it slightly to fit our tastes.  I'd say that it makes about 4 side servings.

What you'll need:

1/2 of a medium onion chopped
1/4 cup butter + a little more to saute the onion
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups chicken stock
Large head of broccoli - broken into small pieces
1 medium/large carrot - the recipes I've come across julienne the carrot.  I don't want to spend time doing this so I simply use a vegetable peeler and then chop the carrot pieces into smaller pieces.  I'm not a carrot fan so the smaller the pieces, the better.
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Shredded cheddar - 8 oz if you want it really cheesy

What to do:

1.  Saute the onion in butter.  Set aside when done.

2.  Whisk the butter and flour over medium high heat (about 4 minutes) in the soup pot.  You are making a roux which will thicken the soup.

3.  Add the half-and-half and chicken stock.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

4.  Add the broccoli, carrots and onions.  Cook over low heat for 25 minutes.  The veggies break down and the soup thickens right at the end so don't cut the time short.

5.  Add salt and pepper to taste

6.  Stir in nutmeg

7.  I have one kid who doesn't like a lot of cheese and one who doesn't like any melted cheese so we add the shredded cheddar to our bowls after the soup is served.  This way, each person gets as much or as little cheese as she prefers.


Anonymous said...

i wish you had a books tab on your site so it would be easier to find the books you have recommended. Or is there a way that I am missing?

Sarah said...

Anon - I'll move the books tab up on my to-do list. Thanks for the suggestion.

Aimee said...

I'm curious - what's half-and-half?

Sarah said...

Aimee - Half and half is half cream and half milk.

Aimee said...

Interesting. Can you buy it in a bottle like that? We don't get that in New Zealand.

Sarah said...

Yes! It's in the dairy section with the creamers.