This copycat recipe of Panera-style creamy tomato basil soup, made with roasted tomatoes and fresh herbs, brings this classic soup right into your kitchen.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Drain the tomatoes
Drain the tomatoes into a bowl to reserve the juice. Cut the tomatoes in half and gently squeeze out as much juice and pulp as possible into the bowl of reserved juices without destroying the tomatoes.
Roast the tomatoes and garlic
On a baking sheet, layout the tomatoes in a single layer and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss gently to coat the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the black pepper. Place the unpeeled garlic cloves onto a small piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil. Wrap in foil packet. Cook for 45 minutes or until the tomatoes are deep red.
Sauté the onions and add tomatoes and stock
In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan or French oven over medium heat, cook the onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 5-7 minutes or until the onions become fragrant and tender. Add in the reserved tomato juice, roasted tomatoes, vegetable stock and tomato paste. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes or until the soup has thickened.
Add the herbs
Stir in the Parmesan, basil, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes and salt and continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes or until the grated Parmesan has completely dissolved.
Blend and strain the soup
Transfer soup to a blender and puree until the soup is smooth. While the soup is blending, slowly add in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Press the soup through a fine mesh strainer back into the saucepan.
Add the heavy cream
Fold in the heavy cream and let the soup simmer for 3 to 5 minutes to finish. Garnish with a drizzle of sherry vinegar, toasted bread, fresh parsley and Parmesan shavings.