Easy Tomato Bisque

Thick, creamy and delicious tomato bisque is a family favorite! This recipe is also beyond simple which makes it even more appealing.

Similar to our tomato basil soup, this tomato bisque is a hit all fall and winter. Other favorites include: sweet potato soup, carrot soup and cheesy potato soup.

Tomato bisque soup in white bowl

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!!

Tomato bisque cooking in pot

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.

Tomato bisque recipe cooking in pot

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 ingredients being blended

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

Tomato bisque soup recipe in white bowl

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:

For more soup recipes:

Tomato Bisque Recipe

4.75 from 16 votes
Thick, creamy and delicious tomato bisque is a family favorite! This recipe is also beyond simple which makes it even more appealing.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 189 kcal
Author Lil' Luna

Ingredients

  • 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 (with parsley flakes)
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 cup half and half

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    So delicious and easy for any lunch or dinner. I took mine in a thermos for work lunch. It’s great the next day too.

  2. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I ended up using fresh Tomatoes (about 5, some big some small). I Also Used milk just because that’s all i Had on hand! Topped the bowl off with some cheddar cheese and dipped iT with Some cheesY bread. Thank you for the recipe!

  3. I have a question on this recipe. It states in ingredients half and half. Then later says to add heavy cream. Are both being used? When do you put one or both in? All at once? It says top with cream. Unsure about the half and half and heavy cream and if stir it all in soup

  4. These ingredients are going on my shopping list right now. Has anyone added diced onion to the recipe? If so, how did it turn out? Thanks!

  5. I just made this and it was terrible! Nothing like tomato bisque at all. I should have known better when it called for chicken broth. Way too thin and no tomato flavor. I threw it away.

  6. What a terrific recipe! So easy and delicious on a cool fall day. I chose not to blend it though, I thought the consistency was great on its own. I served it with shredded cheddar & crusty Italian bread. Yum!!