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?
Copycat Panera Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
- 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
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- pinch of ground cayenne
- 1/2 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.
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says
This is my husband’s favorite Panera soup, always ordered with a grilled cheese sandwich, of course!
Funny, how the combination of tomato soup and grilled cheese just never gets old. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how good Panera’s soup was.
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
When I had gum surgery, tomato soup was my best friend – your son is fortunate to have a wonderful mom like you who can whip up a big batch of this ah-mazing take on tomato soup! This sounds wonderful, Jeanette!
You poor thing – not fun when you can’t eat. Hopefully, my son will remember this tomato soup when he’s older 😉
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
So creamy and tasty. I like that you use sweet rice flour to thicken it up.
Thanks Angie – yes, I’ve found sweet rice flour works well in place of flour to help thicken soups and sauces.
What is sweet rice powder? Where can I buy it?
Hi Nata, sweet rice powder can be found at Asian grocery stores. If you can’t find it, you can try substituting another thickener. The only reason I used sweet rice powder was to make this gluten-free. Regular flour can be used.
Jenny Flake says
Tomato Basil soup is one of my all time favorites! Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe…there’s something about tomato soup that is so comforting 😀
I couldn’t agree more Jenny – there’s something nostalgic about tomato soup 🙂
I lived on soup when I had my braces too and tomato soup was always so comforting. It’s been a while since we’ve been to Panera so I can’t wait to try yours 🙂 It looks so creamy and delicious!
So funny, I can’t remember what I ate when I had braces, but I’m sure I must have eaten a lot of soup too. I hope you like this recipe Kelly.
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says
Jeanette, my kids love Panera Bread too. . for the chicken noodle soup, baked potato and black bean soup. we also love their bread . . obviously 😛 I always order a salad and sandwich but love tomato soup so will definitely give your recipe a try!!