Copycat Panera Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium sweet onion, rough chop

4 cloves garlic, minced

1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes 

1-28 oz. can peeled tomatoes

1 cup chicken stock

1/3 cup butter

1/2 cup half and half

2 Tbsp granulated sugar

10-12 fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 tsp salt, plus additional to taste

a few twists of fresh ground pepper


Garnish with any of the following:

Basil chiffonade, croutons, dollop of sour cream or dollop of pesto.


Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat and add the 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 6 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.  


Add the can of tomatoes with juice, crushed tomatoes, chicken stock and sugar. Bring to a simmer.   Cook uncovered for 10-15.  Stir in the butter and half and half.  Add the chopped basil and stir.


Use an immersion blender or carefully transfer the mixture to a blender and puree the soup until there are no large chunks and at desired consistency.


Adjust the seasoning.  Serve with desired garnishes.


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