Copycat Panera Tomato Soup

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Panera Tomato Soup is just the thing to herald in the colder months. It’s savory and robust — with a bit of a kick to it! But it’s creamy enough that you’re able to keep enjoying spoonful after spoonful. Learn how to make my copycat Panera tomato soup recipe, and you can enjoy it whenever you want!! 

Titled Image: Copycat Panera Tomato Soup


 

Panera Tomato Soup

Homemade soups often fall flat, but just a few adjustments make all the difference! 

Fresh herbs, a flavorful base for the stock, and balanced seasonings are all key. And I’ve kept all that in mind!

There sure is nothing like a thick, creamy stew to warm you up from the inside out!

I have a cheesy, yummy broccoli cheddar copycat I break out every fall (and, okay, sometimes sooner). 

For a bulkier meal, I’ll serve up some chicken or old fashioned beef stew instead. But they’re all on the menu at least once a month!

ingredients for panera tomato soup copycat

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

  • Cherry Tomatoes – A very popular roasting tomato for its flavor and flesh-to-seed ratio. 
  • Shallot – Try sweet onions, yellow onions, scallions, or chives for substitutes. 
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes – For heat! As we’re also including black pepper, you can leave this out to avoid excess heat while still keeping a bit of spice. 
  • Oregano – Fresh herbs make homemade soups even better. Three sprigs are enough to start with! Basil, parsley, sage, and thyme are all good substitutes. 
  • Canned Tomatoes – Crushed tomatoes are best for this Panera Bread tomato soup recipe. Brands with basil or garlic are really tasty and great to use, too! 
  • Heavy Cream – Half and half or regular milk are okay substitutes, but just know that it won’t be as creamy!
roasted tomatoes and shallots on a baking sheet

How to Make a Perfect Copycat Panera Bread Tomato Soup

  • Let the roasted, seasoned vegetables cool before blending. 

You really want to be careful working with this hot mixture – it was just in a 400°F oven!

It doesn’t need to cool completely, but just for a bit so that you can more easily (and very very carefully) pour the mixture into your blender.

Keep that lid on, but leave the center cap out to help release steam.

Be super careful while blending separate batches, and be equally careful when pouring the blended contents into your pot.

  • Add more flavor by using stock instead of water.

One cup of water is used to build up our Panera tomato soup. But it doesn’t have to be water! An easy, flavorful substitute can be found in either stock or broth. 

Chicken is a popular favorite, and I always advocate for vegetable or mushroom options for those who want to keep their copycat Panera Bread tomato soup recipe vegan- or vegetarian-friendly!

  • Finishing touches for a true restaurant copycat.

As I’m sure you know, the restaurant original is always served with croutons! You can find some in the store or make your own at home — really easily, I might add!

But what we all really love is that bread bowl!

I have a simple homemade bread bowl walkthrough here in my pepperoni soup recipe (involving dinner rolls — it’s kind of ingenious!) that’s just perfect. 

Other than that, serve with some crusty bread for scooping and enjoying!

blending basil, crushed tomatoes and shallots in a food processor

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Let the pot cool entirely before transferring to an airtight container.

It’ll last for up to 3 days in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer! If freezing, let thaw in the fridge overnight. 

From there, reheat leftover Panera Bread tomato soup on the stovetop on medium heat, stirring regularly until warmed through. 

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Blender – A high power blender is a must in every kitchen.
  • Large Heavy Bottomed Pot – Worth investing in if you love soups!
  • Baking Dish – One of my absolute favorites! I’ve been using this simple, durable pan for years, and it never disappoints.
cooked copycat panera tomato soup in a large pot

Panera Tomato Soup Recipe FAQ

Does Panera tomato soup have cream in it?

Yes, the original Panera tomato soup recipe does have milk. It’s part of what makes it so thick and luscious!

A good vegan and vegetarian substitute is coconut milk. If you’ve never used it before, you might be hesitant, but don’t be! It’s not sweet at all. 

How much sugar is in Panera Bread tomato soup?

The original Panera tomato soup contains 17 grams of sugar.

My copycat Panera Bread tomato soup does not contain any added sugars outside of the listed ingredients. If you’d like to get closer to the original, add a tablespoon! 

Can you substitute the cherry tomatoes with another type of tomato?

You absolutely can! Any variety is fine. 

What you’ll need to do is adjust the roasting time so that the skin and flesh soften appropriately. And if you’ve selected large tomatoes, quarter them so that they cook quickly enough! 

copycat panera soup in a bread bowl with croutons on top

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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copycat panera soup being served with a wooden spoon

panera tomato soup copycat

Copycat Panera Tomato Soup

Donna Elick
Panera Tomato Soup, steaming hot in a bread bowl — there’s nothing better! Enjoy silky, creamy Panera Bread tomato soup with my recipe.
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Method Stovetop
Servings 4 -6

Ingredients
 

  • 2 pounds cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves chopped
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • croutons, for garnish
  • fresh basil Leaves, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • In a small bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes, shallot quarters, olive oil, and chopped fresh oregano together. Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet or baking dish.
  • Roast the tomato mixture in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and slightly charred.
  • In a blender or food processor, combine the crushed tomatoes, water, basil leaves, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Blend until smooth. Add the roasted tomato and shallot mixture and blend again until smooth. (You may have to blend in batches depending on the size of your blender or food processor).
  • Pour the blended mixture into a large heavy bottom pot and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Reduce the heat to low and stir in the heavy cream. Allow the soup to simmer for an additional 10 minutes to let the flavors meld together,
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning to your preference.
  • Serve the creamy tomato soup hot in bread bowls or regular bowls.
  • Garnish with croutons and fresh basil leaves. Enjoy!

Donna’s Notes

Substitute the heavy cream for coconut milk for a vegan alternative.
This soup can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days, reheat via stove-top or microwave.
You can use other varieties of tomatoes if desired. Adjust the roasting time accordingly based on the size and type of tomatoes used. If using larger tomatoes, quarter them.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 255cal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 588mg | Sugar: 15g | Fiber: 6g | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 5mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Copycat Panera Tomato Soup - PIN

Originally published November 2023

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is my favorite soup from Panera! I never knew it was so easy to make at home, it is delicious and full of so much flavor!

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