Food News: Panera Bread introduces Lemon-Chicken Orzo Soup

Panera Bread likes to keep their cafe-based menu concept “seasonal,” and has announced the arrival of some familiar summer favorites, as well as several new menu items to stores nationwide. Aside from bringing back the Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad, Panera is also busting out a new low-fat soup, Lemon Chicken Orzo.

A Mediterranean inspired soup with chicken, orzo, spinach, carrots, oregano and basil simmered in a lemon infused chicken broth and topped with a lemon wheel.

A full serving of the soup rings in at 160 calories, 4 grams of fat (1 saturated) and 15 grams of protein. Aside from the soup and salad, Panera is also promoting several other menu items, including new Flower Shortbread Cookies and a Steak and Egg Breakfast Sandwich.

23 comments on “Food News: Panera Bread introduces Lemon-Chicken Orzo Soup

  1. Nick says:

    I am Greek, and I remember my grandmother making a similar soup for us called chicken orzo avgolemono. The taste was off the charts. If this comes anywhere close, it will be a big hit.

    • FlaJim says:

      I tried Panera’s new soup and it was very poor . If you have ever had it in a Greek restaurant, this is pale in comparison.

  2. rob says:

    That there is some healthy food.

  3. Debbie says:

    Tried this soup. Delicious!!! I almost don’t believe that it is low fat. Best addition to the menu in a long time

  4. Manavee says:

    I tried the soup at well…pretty good; not as good as their french onion, but still good.

    Off topic: Does anyone else get annoyed how Panera does their lines for ordering? In every Panera I’ve been to, there’s no clear roped off area for a line to form. Most people form their own communal line and go to the first available register when it’s their turn….but it only takes one person to not get the concept and the whole thing breaks down into chaos.

    A few months ago, in my local paper’s police report, there actually was a report of a fight at Panera when someone accidentally cut in line! I read it and could picture exactly what happened.

    I also dislike how you pick up your food. There’s basically 20 people all milling around waiting for their pager to go off, and then you bring it to your seat. This is opposed to Corner Bakery and Cosi who just bring your food out for you.

    I like Panera’s food…I just wish they would redo how they do their lines and food pick up.

    • Beverly says:

      We agree. It’s hard to find a table, save it, and get your food. When you get your food, you have to file past the people getting their drinks, which causes a little “traffic jam”…happens every time. We’ve had people cut in front of us in line as well not understanding how the lines work.

      We love Panera, though. The new Lemon Chicken Orzo soup is delicious. Yesterday, my bowl was not as full of chicken or orzo as it was the last time. Just a little disappointing. Like I got the bottom of the pot with not much left but broth.

  5. Rachel says:

    That lemon chicken orzo soup looks amazing – I know what I’m getting for lunch tomorrow. Thanks for the heads up about this!

  6. Mike N says:

    When I first read the headline I thought it said OUZO soup… I thinking “now that’s interesting…” but no, it’s orzo. Still looks good though. 🙂

  7. Christine C says:

    I just had the Lemon Orzo soup…it is amazing!

  8. Saturn says:

    I had the Low-Fat Lemon Chicken Orzo soup today and it was so good it seemed almost too good to be true health-wise, so I looked up the nutrition data and it’s 1050mg of sodium per serving. 🙁

    Recommended sodium allowance is 1500mg-2300mg for the entire day.

    • Beverly says:

      WOW! I can’t see very well and never read that. That’s way too much for a bowl that size.
      I still love the soup and the flavor. Maybe they could decrease the amount used? It’s worth a try. They say it’s better to allow people add their own salt than to cook it into a recipe.

      I think Panera will listen. Thank you!

  9. Shannon says:

    I tried it today. So freaking good. I loved the lemon flavor and the orzo was perfect. I am getting this soup from now on there.

    • FlaJim says:

      Don’t bother getting it again . Go to a Greek restaurant if you want the “REAL” thing. (No I am NOT Greek)

  10. Jim Owens says:

    please send me the recipe for your Lemon Chicken Broth Orzo soup

  11. Judy says:

    PLEASE send me the recipe for lemon chicken orzo soup.

  12. Jan says:

    The soup is fantastic! it is not the same as the Greek lemon orzo soup because it is not cream based and full of calories!

  13. Phil says:

    This soup is terrible. It tastes like lemon water with garbage veggies. It rivals high school cafeteria vegetable soup with lemon. Stick with the calories and get something good.

  14. Lindsay says:

    This soup is absolutely delicious!! I have been eating this soup for lunch, with an apple for the side, every single weekday for the past three weeks, and I am STILL not sick of it. Being a lemon freak, I almost always take a few extra lemons wedges from the condiment area to squeeze into it! Between bringing my own yogurt cup every day for breakfast, paired with this lemon orzo soup & an apple, I have lost about four pounds in two weeks without feeling ravenously hungry by 3:30 in the afternoon. This soup is GREAT, and it’s helping me fit into my new wedding dress!! Great job, Panera!! More low-fat soups please!!

    On another note, yes, Panera’s waiting area is too small, especially at the lunchtime rush. I find it helps to get lunch either before noon or after 2.

  15. Suzy says:

    Had the lemon chicken orzo soup yesterday and found it absolutely the best. Maybe for those who have tried it in Greece say its not the best but for the most of us who will not go to Greece find it just the best. For those who love to just have a different flavored soup.. its delicious.

  16. Larry41 says:

    Liked this soup so much I went and obtained the recipe. My daughter also had it and raved about the smell, taste, and that it’s low fat. A great addition.

  17. Robyn says:

    Can anyone send panera’s recipe? Or tell me where to get it?

  18. Laura59 says:

    I had this soup in August, and just read these reviews today. It is a nice soup, not authentic (it doesn’t claim to be) but very nice for what is essentially a “fast food” restaurant. I think it’s important to think of “inspired by” as an interpretation of the original or traditional recipe and adjust one’s expectations accordingly. Panera gets points for creativity (and gets a thumbs-down for excessive sodium).

    The “authentic” version (Avgolemono) is thickened with egg and contains only egg, lemon, freshly-made chicken broth, orzo or rice and some pepper. Traditionally, it was prepared on the same day as chickens were boiled; there are lots of variations on this recipe — it is of ancient origin.

    The Panera version is brothy and includes vegetables and so is a modern take on the original. Taken for what it is, up-scale fast food, Panera gets a gold star.

  19. SPKorn says:

    Panera’s Lemon Orzo is very good

    Here one attempt to recreate:


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