Posts Tagged ‘Soup’

Photo from Petit Amuse. Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

Crunchy and buttery with a healthy dose of garlic, these croutons taste like they are fresh out of the oven.

These Butter & Garlic Croutons are available at Petit Amuse.

What I Think:

I received a sampling of these croutons in my Petit Amuse box for October.  The little sample pouch holds six croutons, just enough to determine whether they are something you’re going to want to get a full-size package.  Since there were only six croutons in the package, I decided to snack on them as they were, rather than toss them on top of a salad or float them in a bowl of soup.

And the verdict?  They’re pretty good.  They’re really crunchy, and very buttery.  And heavily seasoned with garlic.  As in GARLIC-Y!  Seriously, don’t plan on kissing anyone after eating these croutons!

I happen to love garlic, so I find the flavor of these croutons to be very appealing.  I love the buttery taste of them, and I love the strong taste of garlic.  I think they’d taste great in a tomato soup or on top of an ordinary salad – these croutons would really liven it up.

My Final Thoughts:

Because the garlic is so strong, I don’t think I would actually buy a full-sized package of these croutons for me and my family, because I’m the only one in the household who really loves garlic.  My husband likes it alright as long as it’s moderate … and I know he would think that these are way too garlic-y.  And truth be told, he uses more croutons than I do as I generally prefer my salads without croutons (I prefer nuts of some sort).   Good, but not something that would appeal to my entire family.

I was hungry, but really what I wanted was something comforting.  I wanted soup.  Soup, for me at least, is the ultimate comfort food.  Warm and soothing.  Since we were in the Cascade area of Vancouver, Panera Bread immediately came to mind.

Location: 914 SE 164th Avenue, Vancouver, WA   Store #1063

Order: French Onion Soup in a Sourdough Bread Bowl; Iced Tea

Specifics: I ordered my soup to go.  In my bag, I received a sourdough loaf that was cut at the top.  In order to form a bowl, I needed to hollow out the bread.  Also in my bag was a bowl of french onion soup, a bag of croutons and a bag of chips, as well as cutlery and napkins.  The iced tea was self-serve from their drink station.

What I Think:

It was a few minutes before we arrived home with my “bagged lunch” from Panera Bread, so I warmed the soup up in the microwave for a few minutes because it had already begun to cool.

While I waited the minute or so for the soup to reheat, I hollowed out the bread bowl, and then I began munching on the chips.  The chips are tasty, kettle style (thicker cut), unflavored chips that are lightly salted.  I liked them because I enjoy the thicker cut of kettle style chips, as well as the crunch!

Now that my soup is hot – let’s move on!  The broth is a bit thicker than I am used to with a french onion soup.  I don’t know if that’s because it’s in the bread bowl and the bread has thickened it (or perhaps the croutons thickened it) or if it is usually this way.  It isn’t bad like this … just different.  The broth is rich, well-seasoned without tasting too salty and flavorful.  The onions are sweet and tender.  So far, so good… but then… not so good.  I come across a little “withy” in my soup – a tiny (about an inch long), very thin branch or stick or twig or something.  What it actually looks like to me is the branch from a sprig of thyme, and it very well could have been.  Unfortunately, finding a withy in my soup was not a very appetizing thing, so I couldn’t finish my soup.

The best thing about Panera Bread is, of course, the bread.  The sourdough was very good.  A very pleasing texture both inside and out:  a nice, crispy crust with a chewy inside.  The sour flavor of the sourdough was just right.  It is one of the better sourdough breads I’ve encountered, and I really enjoyed the flavor of the bread that had been soaked with the soup broth.

The iced tea appeared to be freshly brewed (or so it said on the brewing vessel), and it tasted alright… it wasn’t anything spectacular to write about so I’ll not invest a lot of time doing so.

My Final Thoughts:

The bread was excellent.  The soup was delicious until I came across the withy, which made it less appetizing for me.  Overall, not too bad, and I don’t think that coming across a withy in my soup will keep me from stopping by Panera Bread again in the future.  And even though I didn’t order one this time, they have excellent muffins!

Panera Bread on Urbanspoon