Monday, January 5, 2009

Panera Tomato Soup


Have you tried Panera's creamy tomato soup with asiago croutons? 
If you have, then you know how each bite makes you moan with satisfaction. 
It's creamy and spicy and cheesy and expensive! 
I can't afford to take my family to Panera every time I crave this winter-time soup! 
So that's why I've come up with my own knock-off version of it. 
And it tastes pretty darn similar if I do say so myself. 
Here it is.


Heidi's Panera's creamy tomato soup

Coat bottom of large sauce pan with olive oil over med-high heat.
Add small chopped onion and cook for 5 min.
Add spices: 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 T chopped garlic.
Remove from heat and stir.
Add 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes and put back on the heat.
Add 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp salt.
Add 2 cups of water.
Bring to a boil and let simmer about 15 min.
Add 4 oz cream

(note: if it tastes too acidic, you can try adding a 1/4 tsp of baking soda)

The above by itself is pretty good. But if you ask me, this soup is all about the croutons.

What I did was buy a good foccacia bread that is topped with as much asiago cheese as you can find. (Or I suppose you could buy a loaf of Panera's Asiago bread, but then you might as well go ahead and buy yourself some soup while you are there.) Cut the bread into one inch chunks and spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, toss, and bake in a 200 degree oven until they are dried out and crunchy.
Top them on your soup and you could garnish with asiago or parmesian cheese.

If you try this and you've had Panera's version, let me know what you think. What would make it better?

27 comments:

summer said...

YAY!
Heidi, thank you so much! I have no idea where the nearest Panera is to Slayton, so I haven't been able to enjoy this in a really long time. This is one of my most favorite soups- and I'm not much of a soup person, so that's saying a lot. I can't wait to try it out! (if I can convince Grant that tomato soup can be good sometimes) :)

p.s. I have your baked ziti on my menu for this week

Hilda said...

Can't wait to see how you like it. Let me know what you think and how you would tweek it.

Heather said...

This looks yummy! I think I'm going to put this on my menu for this weekend. I'll let you know what everyone thinks.

jake-paint said...

Hi, Your Panera Tomato Soup recipe is the first one I've found (after looking at about 25) that actually uses the red pepper and oregano that Panera themselves use to describe the recipe! So congrats for that. My wife feels sure she tasted sun-dried tomatoes, so we'll probably be adding that to your receipe. Thank you so much for your recipe!

Anonymous said...

You had me until the baking soda went in, then it got very bland to me.
Next time I'll not add that and I think it will be yummy!

Heidi said...

yeah, i've had mixed results with the soda. I think it depends on how acidic the tomatoes are. I now go without and not add unless it tastes acidic.
I'll update the recipe.

Heidi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cbritt said...

Love this soup too and cant wait to try out this recipe, but one thing i think i will add in is Parmesan Cheese. I swear i can taste it in their soup.

Thanks for the recipe !!

Anonymous said...

Great recipe! I also have looked all over for a clone to this soup that ACTUALLY tastes like the real thing and I have found it! I think that Panera used homemade assiago bread crumbs as a thickener so I threw a little of the bread into the food processor and added a handful to the soup and it was SO GOOD! I also made it one time when I didnt have enough bread so I used a handful of panko bread crumbs and that was good as well :) Thanks again for the recipe its one of my new favorites, and SO EASY!!!

Heidi said...

Great idea to add some of the bread crumbs as thickener!
So glad you like the recipe guys!

Anonymous said...

Just made this today and it's really yummy. I also added about a half cup of parmesan cheese and ran it all through a blender after adding the cream. The end result turned out reaaaaly spicy for me, but it was still good. Will probably just have to cut down on the red pepper next time. But will absolutely be making again.

Anonymous said...

Did you use half and half cream or whipping cream? want to make this tonight.

Heidi said...

I use whipping cream.
I hope you enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

Just made this yesterday. Tastes just like Panera's! I think next time I will chop my onion a lot smaller and not use fresh garlic. I used one clove and then just used about 1/4t of garlic powder. I might also use a hand blender and blend it a bit so it's less chunky but I didn't mind it as is by any means! Great recipe! Thank you!
-Erika

Anonymous said...

How many servings does this make? I have a family of 5!

Heidi said...

We have a family of five too and one recipe is always enough. I would guess this would serve 6-8.

Stephanie L Hughes said...

Sounds delicious. Do you use fresh or dried oregano?

Heidi said...

I usually use dried because I have a huge container I'm trying to get rid of. But fresh would work too.

Laura N said...

I added flour to thicken the soup- it turned out great!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, did you crush it in mixer before mixing cream in it..

Kim said...

Panera does not add any bread or breadcrumbs to thicken their soup since it is gluten free if the croutons are left off. Your recipe sounds wonderful. I can't wait for it to cool off a bit so I can give it a try! Thanks for sharing!!

Coreen Jeffers said...

I love Panera's tomato soup!! I can't wait to try this tomorrow. Just a suggestion for the acidity problem...add a little more oil. It really makes a difference when I make my red gravy so I'm sure it'll be the ticket here too. Baking soda is yucky! :)

Heidi said...

Thanks for the tip Coreen! Good to know!
I hope you enjoy your soup :)

Jmart84 said...

This was super yummy and it tasted even better than Paneras! I doubled the recipe and everything seemed to work out just fine. I also added about 20 crushed croutons (aka breadcrumbs) and 3 small handfuls of Parmesan cheese after the simmering part of the recipe... Thanks Heidi!

Heidi said...

So glad you enjoyed it!
It has been good soup making weather lately here in Minnesota !

Anonymous said...

So excited to make this as we are stationed in Germany and obviously not near a Panera!

Anonymous said...

Love this recipe….actually added a little parmesan cheese and about 1/2 cup asiago bread crumbs finely shredded along with 1/4 cup of tomato paste to add more tomato flavor and felt this made a big difference. Served this recipe to a large group and everyone loved it.