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What’s in Panera’s Black Bean Soup?

In this series, “Eating out: What’s in it?” we will be going over how you can figure out for yourself if something is unhealthy. Today we are taking a trip to Panera Bread.




1. Check the menu

In more and more urban and developed cities, some nutrition information is being publicly displayed on the menu. Look for numbers or symbols next to the menu item.


  • “S/M 390/590 cal”     — this could be found right after a salad, indicating that the medium bowl is 390 calories, while a large is 590.
  • “SF,” “EF,” or “DF”     — could all be common allergy indicators / show dietary preferences (soy free, egg free, dairy free)
  • “low chol”     — your food or drink has a low amount of cholesterol per serving

These indicators are convenient and effective ways of narrowing down choices.




2. Go online

If you are eating at a chain restaurant, you can almost guarantee they will have the nutritional info on their websites. Some even have ingredients, and most include a common allergen guide.

In this case we have an extensive amount of information online for all of Panera Bread’s products.


  1. Go to their website
  2. On the main menu hover over “Menu Items” and select Soups
  3. Find and click on “Black Bean Soup.” Here you will find the nutrition details and ingredients.




Summaries- Nutrition (per Bowl):

  • 140 calories

This is more of a snack than a meal.



  • 2 grams of fat, 0 of which is saturated, 0 grams of trans fat

Soups are mostly carbs, but the oil contributes a little to the fat content. Thankfully there is no trans fat.



  • 0mg of cholesterol, and 1110mg of sodium

This is high in sodium, which is good to know if trying to avoid salt.

There is no cholesterol, as this is plant-based (their cell’s membranes have related sterols).



  • 40g of carbs, 17 of which are fiber, and 2 of which are sugar (the remaining is starch)

A nice sugar to fiber ratio.

See also: How to Understand and Apply the Nutrition Facts



  • 7g protein

A little low protein for my liking.



  • Lastly, 15% of the DV for Vitamin A, 0% of your daily Vitamin C, 8% for Calcium, and 20% of your Iron

An OK source of iron.



  • 0mg of Caffeine

Oh man!



Our approximate macro breakdown (calculated by calories, not mass): 13% fat, 67% carbs, 20% protein.

See also: How are Nutrients and Calories Rounded?




Summaries- Ingredients:


Our ingredients (to help clarify, I indented ingredients that composed other ingredients, and unique ingredients are blue [or red if a vocab word]):

  1. Low Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup
    1. Water
    2. Black Beans (May Contain Soy)
    3. Onions
    4. Celery
    5. Vegetable Base
      1. Cooked Vegetables
        1. Carrot
        2. Celery
        3. Onion
      2. Tomato Paste
      3. Corn Oil
      4. Yeast Extract
      5. Potato Flour
      6. Salt
      7. Onion Powder
      8. Garlic Powder
      9. NaturalThis term, to be honest, does not mean much. It simply means... More Flavor
        1. White Pepper And Rosemary Extract
    6. Red Peppers
    7. Modified Corn Starch
    8. Sea Salt
    9. Spices
      1. Cumin
      2. Oregano
      3. Red Pepper
    10. Lemon Juice
    11. Garlic Powder

May contain soy.







  • Not outstanding in the micronutrient department, from what we can see at least, but it does have about 1/5 of your daily iron.
  • No trans fats.
  • The most common macro is carbohydrates
  • Great on the fiber and sugar but not enough protein.
  • No cholesterol and high sodium.


  • There are 20 unique ingredients.
  • The sources of carbs are alright.
  • There are no “flavors” added.

See also: Get to Know Your Nutrients




Hope this eating out tutorial / walk-through helps! More coming soon.




Thanks for reading!

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