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!
In This Post:
- ℹ️ Overview
- 🛒 What You Need
- 📷 How To Make It
- Storage Tips
- 📝 Go To Full Recipe
- ⭐️ Comment On & Rate This Recipe
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 it with grated cheese and croutons on top or grilled cheese or garlic bread on the side.
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.
- 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 Tomato Soup In Instant Pot
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!
Storage Tips For Tomato Soup
- Refrigerate: in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
- Freezing: 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 it in freezer-friendly Tupperware for up to 3 months. Leave some space at the top of the container or bag to allow for the soup to expand as it freezes. Defrost in the fridge overnight, in a microwave or in the Instant Pot.
- Avoid Repeated Freezing: It’s best to use the thawed soup within 2-3 days and avoid refreezing it, as this can affect the texture and flavor.
Find the full list of ingredients, instructions, and a nutritional breakdown below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let us know in the comments, and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.
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Best Instant Pot Tomato Soup (Panera Bread Inspired)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion large yellow, 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 canned Italian tomatoes 15 oz cans, whole tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or sour cream
- To serve: croutons and Parmesan cheese
- 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!
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