Thick, creamy and delicious tomato bisque is a family favorite! This recipe is also beyond simple which makes it even more appealing.
Bisque vs Soup?
Do you know what the difference is between a bisque and a soup?
Traditionally a bisque is made with a shellfish base such as oyster or lobster. In more modern times the use of heavy cream is often the difference between bisque and soup. So modern bisque is really Creamy Tomato Soup. Bisque sounds fancier though, right? (NOTE: If you have a shellfish allergy I would recommend always inquiring which type of bisque is being served.)
Today’s tomato bisque is similar to our tomato basil soup but it’s a little more thick and a little less basil-y. But trust us – it’s just as good. We especially love to make and serve this bisque with grilled cheese!!
How to Make Tomato Bisque
This soup has to be pureed, which is the hardest part, but other than that it’s very simple.
In a medium saucepan, saute garlic in butter for about 1 minute. From there you will stir in the flour until blended and then gradually pour in the chicken broth. Stir in the tomatoes, paprika, garlic salt and basil until well blended. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened (about 2 minutes).
This is where you will need to blend and puree the soup until it’s the consistency you want it to be. This will be done in batches followed by adding the heavy cream at the end.
Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cream and fresh basil.
Using Fresh Tomatoes for Tomato Bisque
We went the easy route and used a can of crushed tomatoes. If you want to use fresh tomatoes, use these directions:
To prepare fresh tomatoes:
- Choose ripened flavorful tomatoes
- Peel the skin off the tomatoes: To make this easy place the tomatoes in a boiling pot of water for 1 minute. Then transfer them to a bowl of ice water. The skin will peel right off.
- Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds
- Use in the recipe as directed.
For roasted tomatoes:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Cut the tomatoes in half and deseed them
- Toss with a bit of olive oil and salt- just enough to coat each tomato
- Place the tomatoes in a single layer on the pan
- Bake about 30 minutes or until the skins soften and begin to burst. The size of the tomatoes will affect the cook time
- Once they have cooled a bit peel off the skin and use them in the recipe as directed.
Tomato Bisque FAQ
How to keep cream from curdling?
- Warm the milk/cream before adding it to the bisque
- Avoid low fat dairy products. The higher the fat content the less chance of curdling
- Stay low and slow: Heat all cream based soups slowly over low heat.
Can I use fresh tomatoes in tomato bisque: Yes! In fact, you can also roast the fresh tomatoes to add a delicious layer of flavor. Large garden tomatoes like Italian, cocktail, beefsteak and roma tomatoes work well. Scroll up to see how to make it with fresh tomatoes
How do you thicken tomato bisque? If you find that your bisque is not as thick as you prefer there are a few easy ways to thicken it up
- One way is to simply add a bit more cream
- Use a flour roux: a separate bowl Mix 1 tablespoon flour with ¼ c of the bisque. Once smooth incorporate it into the soup. Repeat if necessary
- Add cornstarch: In a separate bowl mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of COLD water. Stir until smooth and slowly stir it into the soup. Repeat if necessary
More Bisque Tips + Tricks
STORING: Store left over bisque in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
FREEZING: You can also freeze the leftover bisque for up to 3 months.. The key to reheating, and keeping as much texture as possible, is to heat slowly over low heat and whisk well.
SIDE IDEAS: Here are some of our favorites:
- Monte Cristo Sandwich
- Mini Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Veggie Panini
- Chicken Caesar Salad
- Strawberry Harvest Salad
For more soup recipes:
Tomato Bisque Recipe
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 14 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 cup half and half
- In a medium saucepan, saute garlic in butter for 1 minute. Then, stir in the flour until blended.
- Pour in the chicken broth, gradually. Stir in the tomatoes, paprika, garlic salt and basil until well blended.
- Bring the pot to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes - or until thickened.
- Using a blender, puree the soup until you reach your desired consistency. You will need to do this in batches.
- Add the pureed soup to a serving bowl and stir in the heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cream and fresh basil.