Fast-casual chain Panera Bread recently added a Ten Vegetable Soup to its nationwide menu—the first time the chain has featured a vegan soup in three years. The new soup is made with vegetable stock and loaded with Swiss chard, carrots, poblano peppers, corn, chickpeas, and a mix of grains, including wheat berries and sprouted short-grain brown rice, and topped with a lemon slice. In 2015, Panera announced its intent to add more plant-based protein options to the menu and has slowly made progress in that direction. Last year, the company debuted six-part docu-series Food Interrupted, one episode of which focused on vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn—the founder of the Engine 2 Diet who is currently touring Whole Foods Markets nationwide to promote the plant-based lifestyle. In an effort to expand its plant-based options, Panera added a vegan Tex-Mex Abundance Bowl to its New York City locations for a limited time last month.
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