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Kelly and I are both slightly obsessed with Panera, so we decided to try and make all of their soups at home in our crockpots.  The results have all been easy, delicious, and affordable and I’m excited to share the most recent success with you: Crockpot Vegetarian Creamy Tomato Soup.  Yum!

Panera Copycat Vegetarian Creamy Tomato SoupIf you missed our other Panera copycat soup recipes, here they are:

When I was pregnant with my first son, my doctor’s office was very close to a Panera (oh, darn!). At the time we lived in rural New York, so my husband and I took the opportunity to eat out after each appointment. I love, love, love Panera’s “You Pick Two” and would often choose their Creamy Tomato Soup and a Greek Salad.

Fast forward several years. Our now six year old shares our love for Panera AND tomato soup. (Although, he’s a big fan of it with grilled cheese.) When I decided to try my own version he begged me every day to take it out of the freezer and make it. Thankfully, he was not at all disappointed. This soup is creamy and delicious. It is sweet with just a hint of spice and the celery seed takes it to the next level.  In true first grader fashion, he announced that he L-O-V-E’d it! I hope that you do too!!

Crockpot Vegetarian Creamy Tomato Soup (Panera Copycat)

Yields 6 servings


  • 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 28oz can tomato puree
  • 16oz fresh cream
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Top with black pepper focaccia croutons (I make my own by cubing a day-old focaccia and mixing it with 2T olive oil and a pinch of salt and lots of black pepper.  Bake for 45 minutes at 250°.)


  1. Combine all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  2. Mash or puree to your liking and stir.

To Freeze and Cook Later

Label your freezer bag with the name of the recipe, cooking instructions, and use-by date (three months from when you prepped the meal).  To your freezer bag, add all ingredients.  Remove as much air as possible, seal, and freeze for up to three months.  When ready to cook, thaw in refrigerator overnight or in morning in water and and then follow cooking instructions above.

Serve with croutons, a salad and/or grilled cheese.

Panera Copycat Vegetarian Creamy Tomato Soup

Are there other Panera recipes that you want me to try and copycat?  Please leave a comment below!

Jill Petrush Rogers is an artist and former bookbuyer/seller. Jill recently moved back to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA with her husband, Tom, and their two energy-filled boys. Jill loves to channel her creativity by coming up with recipes as a contributing writer for New Leaf Wellness.

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Michael Smith
Michael Smith
6 years ago

Hi Jill. I’m thinking of trying your Panera Tomato Soup recipe and have a question. When you say 16 oz of fresh cream what type of cream are you referring to? Half and half, heavy cream, whipping cream etc? Tks.

5 years ago

I was wondering could I use canned Coconut Milk (full fat) instead of the whipping cream? And if so how much would you recommend? One can?

3 years ago
Reply to  Kerri

Late to the game but wondering the same! Is coconut milk or oat milk a substitute?

Kelly McNelis
3 years ago
Reply to  Chelsea

I think you’ll be able to taste the difference, but you could still try.

Dolly Shere
Dolly Shere
2 years ago

Wonder how to make this dairy less

9 months ago
Reply to  Dolly Shere

Hi dolly! We are dairy free too! Coconut milk (from a can) would be the best substitute for that rich creamy feeling, but I would only use coconut if the flavors were ginger or curry. So in this case, with a more Italian flavoring, I would use oat milk. I think oat milk is the nearest thing to cow milk. But it’s closer to 2%, not quite as rich as cream. Hope that helps!

Anne Barclay
Anne Barclay
7 months ago
Reply to  Dolly Shere

Use cashew cream instead. One cup raw cashews 2 cups water

7 months ago

Hi! This may be a silly question, but I have never made freezer meals. Do you freeze the cream in the bag as well?

Helen @ The Family Freezer
Reply to  Julianna

Yes, mix everything in the bag to freeze! With the high fat content, the cream will not curdle when made in the crockpot.