This tomato bisque is creamy, loaded with flavor, and simply delicious. Perfect with grilled cheese sandwiches or a crusty loaf for dipping, this is our go-to tomato soup recipe. Classic, perfected.
What Makes This Tomato Bisque So Good
- Tomato bisque takes delicious tomato soup, and makes it even better. It’s creamy, hearty, and silky smooth. I love it so much with a savory grilled cheese sandwich, a chicken pesto sandwich, or even just a crusty bread for dipping.
- Unlike with store-bought canned tomato bisque or soup, when you make your own, you don’t have to worry as much about the sodium content. You’re in total control of the ingredients you put into your bisque!
- Refrigerate any leftover bisque in an airtight container up to one week. You can also freeze it in an airtight container up to 3 months, which is great if you’ve got fresh tomatoes at the end of the season.
Key Ingredients for Tomato Bisque
Crushed San Marzino Tomatoes – You could actually make this bisque using fresh (peeled, deseeded) tomatoes or roasted tomatoes if you prefer. I use crushed San Marzino tomatoes because they’re delicious and super easy. If you’re using canned but can’t find San Marzino, just stick to whole or crushed tomatoes without anything added to them.
Heavy Whipping Cream – Since we’re not using a roux in this recipe, the cream is extra-important to achieve the perfect, creamy consistency. Without the cream, you’ll just have (really delicious) tomato soup. To make this dairy free, you can use coconut milk instead of heavy cream.
What’s the Difference Between Tomato Soup and Tomato Bisque?
Essentially, the TL;DR is that tomato bisque includes cream and tomato soup doesn’t.
Tomato bisque is a thicker, richer version of tomato soup. Bisque is traditionally made with shellfish stock, so you’ll find some who argue that tomato bisque isn’t actually a bisque at all. The term has actually evolved over the years, though, and now it includes almost any creamy, pureed soup. It’s usually more seasoned than tomato soup. Some are thickened with rice and cream, and others with just cream.
- For an extra pop of flavor, add a little cayenne to your tomato bisque when you add the paprika.
- If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a standard blender to blend your tomato bisque instead. You’ll want to let the bisque cool slightly first, and follow the tips for blending hot liquids on the recipe card below.
- Warm the heavy whipping cream before adding it to the bisque. Cold cream runs the risk of curdling when it hits the already-hot ingredients. Using full fat cream will also reduce the chances of curdling.
- If your bisque just isn’t thickening up like you want it to after step 3, you can make a quick roux to stir in. Vigorously whisk together 1-2 tablespoons flour with ½ cup of the bisque, until it forms a thick, smooth mixture. Slowly pour the roux into the large pot of bisque, stirring to combine. Let the bisque cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
More Soups & Bisques You’ll Love
- Creamy Zucchini Soup
- Shrimp Bisque
- The Best Lobster Bisque (Ruth’s Chris Copycat Recipe)
- Creamy Corn Soup with Potatoes and Herbs
- Best Ever Tom Kha Gai Soup (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)
- She Crab Soup
- Chinese Vegetable Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 1 carrot chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt to taste
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 28-ounce can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon white sugar to taste
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream warmed, divided
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves thinly sliced, divided
- Large pot
- immersion blender
- Serving bowls (warmed)
- In large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion, celery, carrots, and salt. Cook and stir until onions is translucent, approximately 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, cooking approximately 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Pour in chicken broth and crushed tomatoes. Bring mixture to simmer, then season with paprika, black pepper, and sugar. Turn heat to low and simmer until vegetables are very soft, approximately 20 minutes.
- After vegetables soften, remove pot from heat. Insert immersion blender and blend until smooth. Return pot to heat. Slowly whisk in ½ cup heavy cream. Taste and add more salt, black pepper, or sugar if desired.Note: If bisque is too thick, add more broth. If bisque is too thin, continue cooking another 10 minutes or so, stirring often, until liquid has reduced and bisque has thickened.
- Ladle bisque into warmed bowls. Garnish each bowl with drizzle of heavy whipping cream and approximately 1 teaspoon chopped basil per bowl.
- No immersion blender? You can use a standard blender instead. Follow the tips below.
- Sugar: You can reduce the amount of sugar used in this recipe if needed or desired, or use a granulated sugar substitute.
- Make it Vegetarian: Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
- Make it Vegan: Use vegetable broth and coconut milk, and be sure your white sugar is vegan.
- Fill the blender no more than halfway. You may have to blend your ingredients in a few batches.
- After pouring the liquid into the blender, let it sit a few minutes to cool slightly before blending.
- Before blending, remove the center cap from the blender lid and cover the hole with a dish towel instead. This will keep pressure from building up inside the blender. Keep your hand on the lid to hold it down while blending.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.