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Creamy, flavorful, and oh-so-comforting, this tomato bisque recipe is peak comfort food! I order it whenever I see it on a restaurant menu, but discovered it’s actually so easy to make at home. Much like its close cousin roasted tomato soup, it shares the classic tomato flavor, but a luscious cream base sets it apart and gives it a velvety smooth texture. For this reason, tomato bisque soup is a lot like other bisque soups, such as lobster bisque, and creamy butternut squash soup. I love serving it as a light, healthy dinner with salad, or a meal prep lunch with a sandwich!
Why You’ll Love This Tomato Bisque Recipe
- Rich tomato flavors
- Creamy, velvety texture
- Simple ingredients
- Cooks in less than 30 minutes
- Add your favorite toppings or herbs for extra flavor
- Perfect for cozy nights or chilly days
What Is Tomato Bisque?
Tomato bisque is a creamy and velvety tomato soup. Unlike conventional tomato soups that use only broth or stock, a bisque has cream or milk added for a richer, creamier texture.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for homemade tomato bisque what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Olive Oil – I use olive oil to saute the veggies, but any neutral cooking oil, such as avocado oil or coconut oil, will work. Butter is also fine since we’re not going to use high heat.
- Veggies – Celery and onions are classic in tomato bisque recipes, but you could substitute shallots or leeks for a slightly different taste profile.
- Garlic – For the best flavor, I use fresh minced garlic. If you need to, you could use 2 teaspoons of jarred garlic for convenience.
- Crushed Tomatoes – I used these crushed tomatoes, but you can substitute with canned whole peeled tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, or really any kind of canned tomatoes. You could also substitute 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes instead and just dice them before cooking, but canned ones are much more convenient to use.
- Chicken Broth – Like I do for most recipes, I used reduced sodium chicken broth to control the salt in this recipe. Regular is also fine, but you’d need less added salt. You could also make your own broth, use vegetable broth, or even bone broth for more nutrition.
- Fresh Herbs – I used a combination of fresh basil and fresh thyme, but you could use other herbs, such as rosemary, oregano, or parsley. Dried herbs work as well (just use one teaspoon dried instead of one tablespoon fresh), or use a teaspoon of Italian seasoning instead. I also garnished with extra basil, which is optional.
- Heavy Cream – This creates a rich and velvety texture, and sets tomato bisque apart from other tomato soups. You can substitute half and half to lighten it up if you like, but regular milk is not ideal. For a dairy-free alternative, you can use canned full-fat coconut milk to achieve a similarly creamy result.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
How To Make Tomato Bisque
This section shows how to make tomato bisque soup, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Saute the onions and celery. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat, until shimmering. Add diced onions and celery. Saute until the onions are translucent and starting to brown.
- Saute the garlic. Add the minced garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Simmer the tomato bisque. Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, basil, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer.
- Blend until smooth. Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth.
TIP: If the soup doesn’t all fit in the blender, you can work in batches.
You can also use an immersion blender to blend the soup right in the pot, but it won’t be as smooth. If you choose a conventional blender, use a vented lid so excess steam can escape.
- Make it creamy. Return the soup to the pot, and stir in heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve. Garnish with fresh basil and/or an additional drizzle of cream, if desired.
- Store: Cool, then transfer the tomato bisque to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4-5 days.
- Meal prep: Tomato bisque is perfect for meal prepping! You can make a large batch ahead of time, portion it into individual containers, and refrigerate or freeze for convenient and quick meals throughout the week.
- Reheat: Heat on the stovetop over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until warm. You can also reheat it in the microwave if needed.
- Freeze: Allow the soup to cool completely, transfer to airtight freezer-safe containers or freezer bags, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or on the counter, before reheating.
What To Serve With Tomato Bisque
This tomato bisque recipe makes the perfect starter to dinner, or combined with a healthy salad or sandwich for lunch. Try these pairings:
- Sandwiches – My fave is a classic grilled cheese sandwich on 90 second bread.
- Salad – Pair it with a chicken Caesar salad or steak salad for a classic soup and salad meal.
- Toppings – Customize your bowl of tomato basil bisque with toppings, like shredded cheese (cheddar or Parmesan cheese), fresh herbs (basil or parsley), your favorite croutons, or a dollop of sour cream.
- French Mains – Tomato bisque is French, so it’s perfect as a starter before serving chicken Florentine (which is actually French, not Italian!) for dinner or with a crustless spinach quiche for brunch.
- Italian Mains – Even though this soup is not Italian, it pairs very well with Italian-inspired flavors. Try it with stuffed zucchini boats or eggplant rollatini.
More Creamy Soup Recipes
Looking for more creamy soup recipes? Try some of my other comforting favorites:
Tomato Bisque (Easy Recipe)
This easy tomato bisque recipe is the perfect cozy soup! It's creamy, silky smooth, quick to make, and uses simple ingredients.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat, until shimmering.
Add the diced onions and celery. Saute for 8-10 minutes, until the onions are translucent and starting to brown.
Add the minced garlic. Saute for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, basil, and thyme. (If using canned whole peeled tomatoes, mash them before adding the broth.) Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. (Work in batches if needed.) You can use an immersion blender to blend the soup right in the pot, but it won’t be as smooth.
Return the soup to the pot. Stir in the heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with fresh basil and/or an additional drizzle of cream, if desired.
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Serving size: 1 cup
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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