Copycat Panera Tomato Soup

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Smooth, creamy, and just waiting for a grilled cheese dunk! This copycat Panera tomato soup hits the spot every time. Skip the lines and make it at home!

A bowl of tomato soup topped with croutons and a basil leaf, with a spoon and a striped napkin nearby. Another bowl of soup is in the background.

One of my son’s favorite things is a cozy bowl of tomato soup, no matter the weather. He picked up on this classic at a young age, which meant trying lots of versions of tomato soup.

By far his favorite (and mine) is the version Panera serves up. It has just the right amount of seasoning and is so velvety in texture — perfect for eating with grilled cheese!

Thanks to rising prices we don’t go there much anymore, so of course we had to make our own.

This copycat Panera tomato soup tastes just like the kind you get at the cafe. Make a batch to have on hand for weekday lunches, or freeze for a future rainy day.

Ingredients for copycat Panera tomato soup

Full list of ingredients including quantities is located in the recipe card.

You’ll need:

Ingredients laid out on a surface include basil, olive oil, vegetable broth, Italian seasoning, tomato paste, salt, butter, pepper flakes, onion, garlic, heavy cream, and tomato puree.
  • Olive oil
  • Unsalted butter
  • Onion – I use yellow or white, not sweet.
  • Garlic
  • Tomato paste
  • Tomato puree
  • Vegetable stock
  • Sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh basil
  • Dried oregano
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Heavy cream

Don’t skip using both the oil and butter — this is the key for making the soup so rich and velvety!

If you want to use fresh tomatoes to make your own puree, you’ll need at least 5 pounds to equal the same amount. Use saucing tomatoes like Roma or San Marzano, and make sure to peel the tomatoes and remove the seeds before blending for the best texture.

Two bowls of tomato soup topped with croutons and basil leaves, placed on a light-colored surface with a spoon beside one of the bowls.

How to make this recipe

Set a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter is melted, add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are just starting to brown. This will take 6-8 minutes.

Scrape up any stuck bits on the bottom of the pan and stir into the onions, then stir in the tomato paste to coat. 

Add the tomato puree, vegetable stock, sugar, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes

Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cover. Let the soup simmer for 45 minutes.

Remove the lid and let soup cool a bit, then carefully transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. 

Once the soup is smooth, pour it back into the pot and stir in the cream.

Let the soup warm through, then taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.

Storage tips

To store leftover soup, transfer to individual containers and let cool to room temperature. Add lids and store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.

If you are freezing the soup, make sure to leave space at the top of the container to allow for expansion. I recommend using portioned containers like SouperCubes or reusable deli containers. 

Thaw frozen soup in the refrigerator overnight.

Rewarm on the stove over medium-low heat in a small saucepan.

Two bowls of tomato soup with croutons and basil garnish, accompanied by a spoon on a light-colored surface.

Serving suggestions

Top your soup with croutons or shredded Parmesan, or even a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

It’s always good with warm bread like a slice of French bread or homemade crescent rolls.

Dunk in your favorite grilled cheese, or try an apple grilled cheese for a sweet-savory taste.

A bowl of creamy tomato soup garnished with croutons and a basil leaf, with a metal spoon placed nearby on a light surface. Another bowl of soup is partially visible in the background.

Whip up this copycat Panera tomato soup the next time a craving hits!

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below!
It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.

A bowl of tomato soup topped with croutons and a basil leaf, with a spoon and a striped napkin nearby. Another bowl of soup is in the background.

Copycat Panera Tomato Soup

For a rich and creamy tomato soup, look no further than this copycat recipe for Panera's popular soup.
Author : Megan Myers
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 283 kcal



  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes, until the onions are translucent and just starting to lightly brown. If brown bits form on the bottom of the pan, use a spatula to scrape them up and stir them into the vegetables.
  • Stir in the tomato paste followed by the tomato puree, vegetable stock, sugar, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then turn the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the cover and allow the liquid to cool for several minutes, then carefully ladle it into a blender and puree, in batches if necessary. Return to the pot and stir in the cream. Taste; add more salt and pepper if desired.
  • Serve hot, optionally topped with croutons.


Calories: 283 kcalCarbohydrates: 34 gProtein: 6 gFat: 16 gSaturated Fat: 8 gCholesterol: 32 mgSodium: 670 mgPotassium: 1.336 mgFiber: 6 gSugar: 19 gIron: 5 mg

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.

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About Megan

I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…

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