My Favorite from Cafe Zupas is Instant Pot Tomato Soup with a grilled cheese sandwich. Delicious, packed full of wonderful flavor and comfort food at it’s best! Don’t you agree?
If you live anywhere close to a Cafe Zupas then you are familiar with their Tomato Basil Soup. It’s packed full of rich flavor, with the added Pesto Sauce it’s absolutely delicious. I’m not a huge tomato fan, however, I will inhale Tomato Soup because it’s just that good! Plus I love to dunk a good Grilled Cheese Sandwich into this rich and thick Tomato Basil Soup. Oh, a little slice of heaven especially in the cold wintry months. YUM!
Instant Pot Tomato Soup
Cooking with a Pressure Cooker or an Instant Pot can seem tricky, until you get the hang of it. This Fresh Tomato Basil Copy Cat Recipe is traditionally done in a crock pot. Using the Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker will dramatically speed up your time and you will be eating Fresh Tomato Soup before you know it! Let me help you get started.
How to Make Tomato Soup
I like to heat my Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot on Saute until it reads “Hot”. Then I will add my butter to melt. You can of course use Olive Oil if you prefer. Now add your diced onions and celery and allow those to saute for a few minutes. Okay, I’ll get specific for you so you don’t have to read my mind. Let these veggies saute for 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally.
Your onions will begin to sweat and the celery will soften. This all good! Now, turn your Instant Pot off. You don’t need any more heat from the bottom. Go ahead and dump the remaining ingredients into your pot. You read that right, just dump them all right in. Well, except the cream. Save the cream for the end. Add your stewed tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pesto sauce right in. Give a quick Stir just for good measure.
Super important to note, you need to add water! There are natural thin liquid juices in the stewed tomatoes but we don’t want to get a burn notice. So add some additional water. It’s that simple!
At this point, the Tomato Soup looks like a mess of colors and not overly attractive either. It’s thick and chunky with tomatoes, and doesn’t look that appetizing. But trust me here, it will be delicious when it’s all done.
Now close your lid, make sure your pressure valve is closed too and set your Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot on Manual Pressure Cook for 5 minutes. You should also allow for a 5 minute Natural Release (NR). When the cook process is complete all those wonderful flavors will have cooked together into a bite of heaven.
Blend Tomato Basil Soup
You’ve opened up your Instant Pot lid and can smell the Instant Pot Tomato Soup, your stomach is growling to dive in. But as true with life, all good things must wait! haha.. okay, only a few minutes.
Use an Immersion Blender right in your pot to blend the tomato soup smooth. All the sudden the chunkiness is gone and a beautiful tomato red color emerges. Oh it Cool!
Now, go ahead and add that cream. The final ingredient to make this Instant Pot Tomato Soup perfect. With a quick blend your Tomato Soup is complete.
The soup is piping hot, so adding the cool cream will only help it so you don’t burn your tongue when you impatiently grab your first spoonful! Trust me. It’s hot!
Soup! Oh so Good!
Did I mention I just love Tomato Soup? Well, at this point you will love it too. Even my picky eater loves Tomato Soup (shock) and he even said it was “pretty good”. That’s a compliment from a teenager in case you missed it.
When you make Tomato Soup, you need a good grilled cheese sandwich. So do yourself a favor and make my Oven Baked Grilled Cheese. It saves plenty of time by making them all at once, and now you can sit down as a family and enjoy the feast.
Of course my favorite part is dunking a thick and cheesy grilled cheese into a bowl of Fresh Tomato Soup. Talk about comfort food at it’s best!
Of course there are many options of what kind of tomatoes you can you. I prefer to use an Italian Stewed Tomato. It’s quick and easy and doesn’t require any chopping.
I love a good soup and a creamy soup is even better. This recipe calls for heavy cream and when added to the pureed vegetables this Tomato Basil Soup is the creamiest texture of all.
Don’t worry. Do you have a blender? Well, use your blender to puree and blend this soup. BUT, word of caution. As you add the hot soup to your blender, make sure to leave a way for the steam to escape, of you will have a Mt. St Hellens Eruption on your hands. Trust me.
Tomato Basil Soup is easily made in advance or even to meal prep. The soup will last 5 days when properly refrigerated. However you can also freeze Instant Pot Tomato Soup as well. To reheat a single portion use a microwave or for larger portions heat on medium/low heat until desired temperature is reached.
As a general rule, dairy doesn’t not freeze well. However because this soup is all pureed together Creamy Tomato Soup does freeze very well. I like to package in single servings and take to work!
This soup will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Of course keep it in a sealed container.
How to Freeze Creamy Tomato Soup?
- Allow Creamy Tomato Soup to cool before freezing. This an be done by storing in refrigerator for a few hours.
- Package in freezer containers. I like to use Freezer Zip-loc bags and store laying flat. Quart size works well for single servings.
- Freeze Tomato Soup for up to 3 months
- Reheating your soup is easy, pull out a frozen package and throw in your refrigerator over night. Then heat on the stove or in the microwave.
Dress up your Tomato Soup with a garnish!
- Add Parmesan Cheese Slices
- Sour Cream
- Fresh Basil
- Toasted Croutons
- Your favorite Crackers
You can purchase Pesto sauce to use in this recipe. There is no need to make it from scratch. However, it’s also super easy to make it yourself if you want to. For those that are interested, here is the quick recipe and video.
Fresh Pesto Recipe:
- 1 cup Fresh Basil
- 1/3 Cup Almonds (Slivered or Whole)
- 1/3 Cup Fresh Parmesan Cheese
- 2 Clove crushed Garlic
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
Blend in a food processor. Blend until smooth, or leave a little texture like I have.
Don’t stop here! More Delicious Soup Recipes!
- Split Pea Soup
- Chicken Taco Soup
- White Chicken Chili
- Chicken Chili Verde
- Taco Soup
- Chicken Corn Chowder
- Beef Stew
- Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup
Bread Recipes for Dipping!
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Tomato Basil Soup (Cafe Zupas Copy Cat Recipe) in the Instant Pot
Tomato Basil Soup
- 4 14.5 oz Cans Italian Stewed Tomato
- 1 Cup Pesto Sauce *Make Fresh or from a Jar
- 3 Tbs Butter
- 3 Stalks Celery Diced
- 3/4 Cup Onion Diced
- 2 Tbs Sugar *This will help cut acidity
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 Cup Whipping Cream
- 1/2 Cup water *Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker only
- 1 Cup Fresh Basil Washed and remove stems
- 1/3 Cup Fresh Parmesan I do a heaping 1/3 cup
- 1/3 Cup Almonds Whole or Slivered
- 2 tsp garlic
- 1/2 Cup olive oil
Tomato Basil Soup
- In a sauce pan over medium/high heat, melt butter. Add Celery and Onion. Saute’ until tender. Set aside.
- In an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker put Italian Stewed Tomatoes, Pesto Sauce, Sugar, Salt, and Celery/Onion mixture. Add 1/2 cup of water or chicken broth. This is to add enough extra liquid so your ingredients don’t burn in your Instant Pot. If cooking in a Crock Pot, do not add extra water. Give a quick stir.
- Secure the lid. Check to make sure the pressure value is closed. Set Instant Pot to Manual and cook for 5 minutes. It will take a few minutes for the pressure cooker to heat up and seal. Then it will cook for 5 minutes. Do a quick release to release pressure.
- Use an Immersion Blender to blend soup to a smooth consistency. Mine is never smooth because my pesto sauce is still a little chunky which is like. Just blend up as much as you like. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can remove soup and put it in a blender a little at a time. It’s super simple and no big deal. Either way works just fine.
- Add whipping cream and blend or stir to combine. Serve hot with fresh Parmesan. Oh so good!
- In a Food Processor, place Basil, Almonds, Fresh Parmesan, Garlic, and Olive Oil. Blend to combine to desire smoothness. Set aside. (Pesto can be used in a variety of recipes. Added to Alfredo sauce to make a creamy Alfredo too)