Best Instant Pot Tomato Soup (Panera Bread Inspired)

This Panera-inspired Instant Pot tomato soup is velvety smooth and full of flavors bringing comfort and nutrients in one bowl. Made with canned Roma tomatoes, garlic, onions, Italian herbs and a little secret ingredient that brings out the umami flavor in the soup. It’s rich, creamy, and delicious!


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INSTANT POT CREAMY TOMATO SOUP

This recipe is inspired by the Panera bread tomato soup but with a little secret ingredient added to bring out that rich and savory tomato flavor. We’re talking about sun-dried tomatoes! They are like a vegetarian version of bacon and make every dish taste just a little bit tastier.

This creamy tomato soup can be made in the Instant Pot using the Saute function alone or a combination of Saute and Pressure Cook functions. You can also easily make it on the stovetop using the same ingredients and similar timings.

The soup is pureed and finished with fresh cream for that velvety, smooth texture and to mellow out the rich tomato flavor ever so slightly. You can serve tomato soup with grated cheese and croutons on top or grilled toast or cheese toastie on the side.

Tomato Soup in Instant Pot With Cheese Toastie
Rich, thick Instant Pot tomato soup topped with cheese and cream, served with cheese toastie.

TOMATO SOUP INGREDIENTS

We are using similar ingredients to other Panera tomato soup recipes but with a few tiny adjustments. As with most soup recipes, there is room for your own additions or changes depending on what herbs you have in the pantry. 

Tomato Soup Ingredients

Tomatoes – you need whole canned tomatoes in juice and you use all of the can’s contents. You can buy 4 smaller 14-15 oz cans or 2 x 28 oz cans to make 6 servings of the soup. If you only have diced canned tomatoes, those can also be used but we find the flavor isn’t as concentrated and the soup is a little thinner. 

Flavors – onions, lots of garlic and Italian herbs are the main components here. You can use dried basil and oregano or a combination of both, any dried mixed herbs or even fresh basil or oregano if you have some growing in the garden. Sun-dried tomatoes in oil are fantastic for enhancing the umami (savory) flavor in the soup and for adding a little extra salt and acidity. A touch of sugar is nice but can be omitted.

Other bits – you will also need olive oil, vegetable stock (or chicken stock), salt and pepper. We used heavy cream, about 1/2 cup, but you can also add half and half or sour cream. Coconut cream can be used for a dairy-free/vegan version but will add a touch of that tropical flavor to the soup.  


HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT TOMATO SOUP

We used a 6-quart Instant Pot Duo model for this recipe. There are two methods to make this soup: Saute only function or Saute + Pressure Cook. Some Instant Pot models can be quite sensitive to heating up ingredients like canned tomatoes and can often result in Burn error from caramelisation that occurs on the bottom of the pot. If your Instant Pot is prone to showing the Burn error, go with the Saute only option.

Step 1. Using the Saute function, cook the onions for 5-6 minutes in about 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir a few times.

Step 2. Then add the garlic and stir, cook for 1 minute.

Step 3. Pour in 1 cup of stock to deglaze the pot. Scrape the bottom with a spatula to prevent a possible BURN error that might happen if anything is stuck. Press Cancel to stop the Saute process.

Step 4. Add tomatoes and all the juices from the cans.

Step 5. Follow with the remaining ingredients except for cream. Stir through briefly and pop the lid on top.

Step 6. Secure the lid and press the Pressure Cook/Manual button. Adjust the time to 5 minutes, on HIGH pressure. The Instant Pot will take about 10-12 minutes to come to pressure and then the 5-minute countdown will begin. Once the timer is done allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes and then use the quick release button/lever to let off the remaining pressure.

Step 6 (Saute option). At step 3, don’t cancel the Saute function. Repeat Step 4, then press on the Saute button again to cycle from Normal mode to Less mode (less heat). Adjust or set the time to 12 minutes and cook on low Saute with a lid on. Not the Instant Pot lid but a regular glass lid.

Step 8. Finish the soup by stirring in the cream and tasting for salt.

Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and croutons or grilled toast on the side. Cheese toasties are fabulous with tomato soup!

Instant Pot tomato soup with cheese toastie

CAN I FREEZE THIS TOMATO SOUP?

This Instant Pot tomato soup is great for making ahead and freezing. Hold back the cream when freezing! Once pureed, cool the soup and store in freezer-friendly Tupperware for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, in a microwave or in the Instant Pot.

FULL RECIPE & NUTRITION PANEL

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Best Instant Pot Tomato Soup (Panera-Inspired)

Best Instant Pot Tomato Soup (Panera Bread Inspired)

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Italian-American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Learn how to make a delicious, Panera-inspired Instant Pot tomato soup that is velvety smooth and full of flavors. It’s made with canned Roma tomatoes, garlic, onions, Italian herbs and a little secret ingredient that brings out the umami flavor in the soup. It’s rich, creamy, comforting and nutritious all in one bowl.


Ingredients

Scale

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

5 cloves garlic, diced

1 cup vegetable stock (250 ml)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon Italian herbs or dried basil

6 sun-dried tomatoes (in oil)

4 x 15 oz cans of whole Italian tomatoes

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup thickened cream or sour cream

To serve: croutons and Parmesan cheese 


Instructions

  • Prepare all ingredients.
  • Turn the Instant Pot on and press the Saute button. Add two tablespoons of olive oil and onions and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring a few times, until slightly translucent and browned. Now add the garlic and stir, cook for 1 minute.
  • Pour in 1 cup of stock to deglaze the pot. Stir and scrape the bottom with a spatula to prevent a possible BURN error that might happen if anything is stuck. Press Cancel to stop the Saute process.
    Add the tomatoes and all the juices from the cans. Follow with the remaining ingredients except for cream. Stir through briefly and pop the lid on top.
  • Secure the lid and press the Pressure Cook/Manual button. Adjust the time to 5 minutes, on HIGH pressure. The Instant Pot will take about 10-12 minutes to come to pressure and then the 5-minute countdown will begin. Once the timer is done allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes and then use the quick release button/lever to let off the remaining pressure.
  • Open the lid and stir the soup. Use an immersion stick blender to puree the soup. You can also use a food processor and puree the soup in batches, make sure to cool it slightly first.
  • Finish the soup by stirring in the cream and tasting for salt. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and croutons or grilled toast on the side. Cheese toasties are fabulous with tomato soup!

Notes

Whole30/Paleo: Omit the added sugar from the soup, use coconut cream or omit the cream and cheese. 

Vegan version: Omit cream and Parmesan or use dairy-free alternatives.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1.5 cups of soup with 1 tablespoon Parmesan on top
  • Calories: 171
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Sodium: 898.3 mg
  • Fat: 10.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.9 g
  • Fiber: 6.1 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Cholesterol: 14.9 mg

Keywords: Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker, Soup, Tomato Soup, Panera Bread,


MORE INSTANT POT SOUP RECIPES

By Instant Pot Eats

About us: We are a team of Instant Pot enthusiasts, who love good food and cooking. Our blog is dedicated to delicious recipes you can make using your trusted pressure cooker.

PS. This post may contain Amazon affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. 

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Comments

13 Comments
    1. It doesn’t freeze well, the texture of it can get grainy like it’s curdled. It is still totally edible, just not as smooth.

  1. This is so full of flavor and satisfying. This warmed me right up on a cold day and was delicious with some bread.

  2. This tomato soup tastes just like panera’s. It’s so delicious to dip in my grilled cheese sandwich with.

  3. This soup totally reminded me of Panera’s soup, but tasted even better!! Will definitely be making this again soon!

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