This Copycat Zupas Tomato Basil Soup is spot on! With fresh made basil pesto, whole tomatoes, and sauteed vegetables, cooked slow, and pureed smooth. This is one soup you’ll love to create at home served with al dente orzo pasta!

Copycat Zupas Tomato Basil Soup

Yield 24 (1-cup) servings


Classic Pesto:

  • 4 oz fresh basil (Around 2 cups, packed; I bought two 2oz containers available at my store.)
  • 1 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 5 large cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups pure olive oil


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 6 to 7 stalks celery, diced (around 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large onion, diced (around 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 4 (28oz) cans whole tomatoes peeled with juices (do not drain)
  • 1 quart half & half
  • Salt, to taste


  1. For the Pesto:Wash and dry the fresh basil and blend it together with the other pesto ingredients in a food processor. For more tips and details, visit my post for Classic Pesto.
  2. For the Soup:In a large stock pot, melt the butter.
  3. Add diced celery and onions. Cook until translucent. Transfer to a 6-quart or 8-quart slow cooker. (I had to split mine into a 2-quart and 4-quart slow cooker since that's all I had.)
  4. Add the pesto, whole tomatoes with juices, and dried oregano. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 4 to 6 hours.
  5. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. Stir in half & half and let it heat through, another 15 to 30 minutes, or serve immediately as is. Add salt to taste, if needed.

Recipe Notes

*Optional: Serve with 1 to 1½ cups dry orzo, cooked according to package directions; about 9 to 10 minutes.

**Consider halving the recipe if you're not feeding a crowd. This recipe makes A LOT!

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