Thick homemade Tomato Basil Soup (Panera Copycat) is the perfect meal to warm you up on a cold rainy day.
Ya know, cold and rainy/snowy days aren’t all that bad. I particularly enjoy the comforting food that comes along with it… and the sweat pants and fuzzy blankets. One of my favorite foods to enjoy on those days is tomato soup… with a warm gooey grilled cheese sandwich. Such a perfect pair.
Sundays are good days for tomato soup too. I remember many “after church tomato soup/grilled cheese lunches”. Although I’ll have you know the soup was usually just Campbell’s Tomato Soup. But now we have this thick and rich tomato soup! It even freezes well making it a super easy meal for when we come home from 3 hour church dying of hunger and lack the patience (something we probably should have learned at church) to make anything that requires more than 10 minutes. It’s also really nice to have on those nights when there are only enough leftovers for half the family and you are feeling a little lazy and really just want a break from cooking. Gosh I love the freezer… and tomato soup… and grilled cheese!
This soup is a copycat of Panera Bread Company’s Tomato Basil Soup. I LOVE Panera or what I call “St. Louis Bread Company”. That’s what it’s called in my hometown where it all started. Anyway, this soup is thick and has a rich tomato flavor… because it’ almost completely tomatoes… hence the name. Sometimes tomato based things can be acidic but the trick is to add a little tiny bit of baking soda to balance out the acidity. The cream helps too as well as makes the soup all smooth and velvety. The perfect dipping ground for The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich (coming soon!).
What are you waiting for?? Go whip up some hot homemade Tomato Basil Soup and throw together a yummy grilled cheese sandwich.
APPLIANCES/PRODUCTS I USED IN THIS RECIPE (Affiliate Links):
Cuisinart 2-Speed Immersion Hand Blender
Tomato Basil Soup
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 28 ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes (all juices included)
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 8 large fresh basil leaves
- In a large pot, heat oil and butter over medium heat and saute onions until translucent (about 4-5 minutes). Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
- Stir in the whole tomatoes (break apart tomatoes with hands or the back of wooden spoon), chicken broth, tomato paste, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, pepper, oregano, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over medium to medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes until thickened and then remove from the heat.
- Add the cream and basil leaves and puree in batches in a blender or with a hand blender until smooth. Serve garnished with fresh basil and grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese and a side grilled cheese sandwich.
Keep leftovers for up to 4 days in fridge or 3 months in the freezer.
Recipe Source: Adapted from The Novice Chef
Marjorie a eisel says
I love the tomato basil soup and the Greek salad.
This looks so delicious! Tomato soup is so classic, and easily one of my favorites!