This Copycat Panera Creamy Tomato Basil Soup is so creamy and delicious, you’ll want to make it time and time again.
Do you like Panera Bread? I have to admit I was never a big fan and hadn’t been there in a while, but my son likes their tomato soup. So, last week when he was on Spring break, I took him to Panera Bread for lunch as a special treat. I was pleasantly surprised to find a few new additions to their menu, including a brothy Lentil Quinoa Bowl served with a Cage-Free Egg which I tried. My son of course got the Creamy Tomato Basil Soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. That’s just pure comfort food.
I took a taste of his soup and tried to figure out what was in it. It was sweet and creamy, and had garlic and onion notes. So, when I got home I decided I would try to recreate this favorite soup for my son. Panera actually has a recipe for their fresh tomato soup online, so I used that to start off with, and made a few modifications to turn it into a creamy soup and make it gluten-free as well. The first batch wasn’t quite as sweet as Panera’s and I didn’t want to add anymore sugar, so I tossed in a carrot the next time I made it.
This soup came in handy because my son had his braces tightened and his teeth were killing him. He couldn’t chew a thing, so having a pureed soup to eat was just the cure. This Creamy Tomato Basil soup was so good, my son devoured the first batch I made in one day (I made half a batch the first time). So, when we had one of his friends over for lunch the next day, I made a full batch, with enough leftovers to last another day.
Have you eaten at Panera’s? If so, what’s your favorite thing to order?
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon organic butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sweet rice flour
- 6 cups or 4 cans (15 ounces each) diced organic tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon organic sugar
- 4 leaves fresh basil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- pinch of ground cayenne
- ½ cup organic heavy cream
- fresh basil leaves, julienned
- Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot; saute until soft, but do not brown. Stir in flour and cook another minute. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes. Stir in cream. Transfer to a blender and puree (you will probably have to do this in two batches). Garnish with julienned basil leaves and serve.