Did you grow up with tomato soup? Along with Mother’s homemade chicken soup Campbell’s ® tomato soup and a toasted cheese sandwich were a standard lunch in cold weather. (Warm weather? Cream cheese and walnuts on raisin bread which I still eat today.)
I found a recipe for Panera’s Creamy Tomato Soup© and thought this would be a perfect time to pass it on to you. Now remember, when making small quantities versus huge quantities, there will be some differences. Also, theirs calls for San Marzano peeled tomatoes which are available but are not in all the stores. If you can find them, use them. They really are wonderful. If not, get the best quality you can for this.
This is a great recipe to have on hand, in the freezer, for last minute dinners. Combine with a salad or a sandwich and voila, dinner is ready. This is great, too, for a mug of hot soup on a cold winter’s night!
Panera Bread Creamy Tomato Soup©
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced
- 2 (28 oz.) cans San Marzano peeled tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 8 large fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a heavy bottomed pot (or Dutch oven), heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds – until fragrant. Add onion and cook, stirring as needed, until translucent, about 8 minutes.
Add San Marzano peeled tomatoes (juice and all), chicken stock, and sugar. Bring to a low simmer. Cook uncovered, for 12 minutes or until it has thickened. Add the half and half, basil, oregano and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Using an immersion blender (or carefully transfer soup to a blender or food processor), puree soup until there are no large chunks left. Serve plain, with seasoned croutons or a light drizzle of half and half.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.