Creamy Tomato Basil Soup (Panera Copycat)

I love Panera. I do not just kind of love it, I mean I really, really love it. I feel so strongly about this restaurant that if my husband and I are ever traveling through a city with a Panera I BEG him to let us stop. Sometimes he caves, and every single time I go to Panera I get the same thing. Tomato mozzarella panini, and a big bowl of creamy tomato basil soup. It is divine. So I decided to try to recreate this soup at home. The biggest thing about the soup is that it has a thick texture and consistency and has a subtle sweetness that makes you want more and more…and more and more.

Creamy Tomato Soup that is easy to make and taste just like Panera!

This soup is fairly simple, and it doesn’t take hours to simmer and pick up flavor like most soups. You can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes start to finish with this meal. I served this with open faced grilled cheese “sandwiches”. These are also easy to make and I used a garlic and herb cheese spread that my grandmother taught me to make. I am actually sharing that recipe on my personal blog today so head here to find that recipe for the perfect accompaniment for this creamy tomato soup. Because who doesn’t love dunking a cheesy piece of French bread into a steamy bowl of tomato soup?

This soup was perfect. I have heated it up for lunch several times this week and it is fantastic reheated. It will last for about a week in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer. YUMMY and convenient, what a winner! I hope you love it as much as we did! It will be my go to tomato soup recipe from now on. Enjoy!

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup (Panera Copycat)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 (28 oz) cans San Marzano peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 cup of half and half
  • 1/3 cup of butter
  • 8-10 large fresh basil leaves chopped roughly
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt and crushed black pepper, to taste


  1. In a dutch oven, or heavy bottom pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, saute until translucent. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, just a few minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, sugar, and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, then cook uncovered for 10-12 minutes or until the sauce has begun to thicken somewhat.
  3. Add half and half, butter, basil, oregano, cheese and salt/pepper. Using a blender (immersion or regular) puree the mixture to the consistency you desire. Serve immediately with crusty bread, croutons, and a basil leaf on top.
  4. You can store this in the freezer for up to 3 months!

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Rachel is a part time bakery assistant, part time church employee, and a total foodie. She lives currently with her husband and little pup in Mississippi. Rachel has a love for graphic design, a good book, and being in the kitchen. She discovered her passion for baking and cooking shortly after getting married, and now spends hours in the kitchen to relax, and create delicious recipes for the ones she loves. Rachel shares more about her little family over on her blog where she writes about marriage, fashion, goals, and faith.

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  1. I cannot WAIT to make this! Panera’s tomato soup is one of my all time faves!

  2. Wow! I love Panera and their tomato soup! Looks so good! So glad you linked up!

  3. My husband loves homemade tomato soup, so I will have to make this for him!

  4. You have no idea how much I love pesto, especially with tomatoes
    This is a great soup!
    I’d love to try it (with veggie broths)

  5. So you literally just stole this from the novice chef blog. All right.

    • I thought the same thing about taking it from Novice… she just added butter and parmesan cheese. she could have at least removed the kind of tomato brand and some other spices.

  6. I had a hard time finding fresh basil ! The soup was tasty ! A lot for 2 people

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