Panera Bread’s monthly soups have ranged anywhere from tasty cakes to downright corrugated.  As I’ve found with most of their offerings, they’re traditionally hit or miss.  One month we can see some pretty solid tastes roll through while others will just be meh.  This month’s promotional offerings include the Low Fat Chicken Tortilla soup, which has been released in the past and is now considered a returning favorite.  I decided to give the soup a go and determine whether or not this reunion tour was even worth following on Twitter.

As you can see the bowl reverberates many glorious colors.  Chicken tortilla soups traditionally attempt to exhibit the finer essence of a home cooked Mexican stew.  While I have no clue on the Mexican authentic factor or whether or not Panera even cares, I feel rather festive looking down into the soup.

The Chicken Tortilla soup packs a load of ingredients, including whole kernel corn, black beans, roasted Poblano peppers, dried chili peppers, hints of cumin and lime, and covered with tri color tortilla strips.  Notice that chicken wasn’t listen in those ingredients, which is quite peculiar.  But there were some pretty sizable chunks of chicken intermingled, despite the description, so I  wasn’t left on the side of the road meatless and mangled.

Dip diving down into the soup I performed the prototypical mixing of my soup so that the crunchy tortilla strips were drowning in their surroundings.  Nothing screams fiesta like red, black, and corn colored tortilla strips.  Somehow that dye makes me want to unfasten my belt and start dancing on table tops.  Moving on to the actual flavor of the soup.  I’ll describe it somewhere in between the range of satisfying and mediocre.  While all of those ingredients are in place, none of them really developed into a flavor blast. But there definitely was a decent amount of zest and flair.

Despite the mass of ingredients and hunks of chicken there wasn’t a huge amount of taste, but I’ll still give the Chicken Tortilla Soup a solid 2.5 rating because of its somewhat health conscious 8 grams of fat and 240 calories.

Chicken Tortilla Soup: 2.5/5