This tomato bisque is velvety smooth and is made with roasted tomatoes and garlic, then blended to a creamy, silky, smooth texture.
Tomato bisque sounds like the type of soup you would enjoy at an elegant restaurant as an appetizer, but don’t let the name fool you.
This tomato soup is a huge hit when it comes to serving as a midweek weeknight meal.
This recipe is easy to make and tastes amazing.
This tomato bisque recipe is a unique and rich soup with the perfect combination of tomatoes, potatoes, and fresh herbs in proper amounts.
The soup is perfect year-round, especially on a rainy day. You can enjoy the soup alone or in the company of family and friends. It is also the type of soup you would make to cheer a friend that is down and or needs some upliftment.
What is Tomato Bisque?
Next to soup Joumou and this tomato carrot soup, tomato bisque is another favorite soup I love to make at home.
The soup is made from a combination of fresh tomatoes and herbs, onions, fresh garlic, and potatoes for added texture and creaminess.
Then for additional flavor and we also added heavy cream, fresh herbs, and apple cider vinegar, you can also use balsamic vinegar.
Once blended to a creamy texture, feel free to top it with parmesan cheese.
While these ingredients may seem unlikely, the nutty flavor of the parmesan cheese, the sweet acidity of tomatoes, and the vinegar-like tang of balsamic or apple cider vinegar make the soup an excellent taste whenever it hits the taste bud.
Another reason why this soup is famous is that it is effortless to make at home.
Origin of Tomato Bisque
It is impossible to perfectly understand the history of tomato bisque without knowing the origin of tomato soup, which is the forerunner of the dish.
While tomato is native to Mexico and other parts of South America, there is no traceable evidence to show that tomato soup originated from the region.
Instead, the earliest form of tomato soup was the form of Gazpacho, which is the Spanish tomato soup.
This soup originated in southern Spain in a region known as Andalucia. The soup was so popular that it made its way into Portugal, where locals referred to it as gazpacho.
However, the first mention of the soup was by Eliza Leslie, who mentioned it in her 1857’s New Cookery Book.
The popularity of the soup came to a head in 1897 when John Campbell found the Campbell Soup Company that oversaw the invention of condensed tomato soup.
Despite this history, an ironic turn of events showed that the tomato basil bisque originated in France.
Bisque is a French word, and it refers to a soup made from broth strained from crustaceans such as shrimps, lobsters, crabs, and crayfish. This broth is usually creamy and seasoned.
Key Ingredients Used for Making Tomato Basil Bisque
The following are some of the key ingredients needed to make this dish;
Tomatoes – From the name of the dish, it is easy to assume that you will need tomatoes for this dish. The best types of tomatoes to use for this dish are the peeled and deseeded Roma Tomatoes or the meaty heirloom.
Now, you can use cherry tomatoes too, but because of their small size, it is difficult to peel and seed them.
If you are not roasting the tomatoes first, we recommend you peel the tomatoes prior to cooking them.
Failure to peel and seed the tomatoes (without roasting) affects the creaminess, an essential feature of your tomato bisque.
Fresh Herbs – This is another vital ingredient. It is advisable to go for fresh herbs (parsley, basil, thyme), but if you cannot get fresh herbs, dried herbs also work. However, you should be wary of using too much as dried herbs have concentrated flavors.
Chicken Stock / Broth – Feel free to use vegetable stock, beef stock, or water. However, the stock will add new flavor to your tomato bisque and makes it even more delicious.
You can use homemade or store-bought stock. It is important to mention that it is better to use chicken stock than chicken broth.
This is because the flavor in broth is not as strong as in stock. Also, if you are a vegetarian, you can easily substitute this with vegetable stock.
You can also make your own roux like this demi glaze which goes with everything, especially soups, and stews.
Olive Oil – You will also need olive oil to ensure that the tomato basil bisque comes out great. Extra virgin olive oil is the best type of olive oil used for this dish. However, if you cannot find this, you can substitute it with your desired fat.
A tablespoon of liquid fat adds some exciting flavor to the dish.
Cream – To increase the dish’s creaminess, you may need to use a cream for the tomato basil bisque.
While you can use heavy cream, it is advisable to use Half and Half or half cream for people in the UK.
This option has fewer calories and works perfectly well. You can use homemade cashew milk as a substitute if you are a vegetarian.
Onion & Garlic – To get the best flavor for the dish, use the Vidalia variety or another sweet onion flavor. Garlic is another ingredient that helps you turn up the dish’s flavor. For best results, go for roasted garlic.
Other ingredients in this dish include salt, pepper, and fresh parsley.
Optional Ingredients To Make This Bisque
Parmesan Cheese – Parmesan cheese is another important ingredient; but an optional one. It is usually added to enhance the taste the flavor of the tomato bisque.
The cheese originated in Italy and is a product of cow milk. It comes with an unbeatable flavor, and it is advisable to use the cheese when it is freshly grated.
If you cannot find this type of cheese, you can opt for fontina or gruyere cheese, as both of these cheeses combine perfectly with the ingredients used for this dish.
Rice / Potatoes – Rice or potatoes are used to thicken the broth. The rice or potatoes are cooked in the broth, blended, and sometimes strained later. The starch from either the potatoes or the rice will provide a velvety texture of tomato bisque.
Cayenne Pepper – Use sparingly and this will add some heat to the dish.
How to Peel Tomatoes
Peeling the tomatoes is easy after blanching them.
To blanch the tomatoes, you need to heat them and bring them to cool almost immediately. You will need boiling water and a bowl of cold or iced water.
Start by creating an “X” at the base of the tomato, put the tomatoes into the hot water for about 60 seconds, then proceed to place it inside the cold water for a minute or two. Once you remove the tomatoes, the skin should come off quickly.
To seed the tomatoes cut them open in half and scoop out the seeds from inside the tomatoes.
How to Make Creamy Tomato Bisque
The full recipe with the exact measurements is listed below in the recipe card. For now, here’s a quick guide on how to make this bisque with ease.
If you don’t have an immersion blender to blend this bisque, you can always use the blender you have on hand.
To begin, start by cutting the tomatoes up roughly. Place them in a baking dish. Then, drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and lightly season with salt (we used Kosher Salt). Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Next, prepare the ingredients by chopping and slicing the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onions and cook for 5-6 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 45 seconds. Do not let the garlic brown as this may alter the flavor of your bisque.
Add the tomatoes and juice from the tomatoes to the mixture in the Dutch oven and stir well to combine. Stir in the broth and add in the chopped peeled potatoes. Season with herbs, salt, and pepper.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid, and simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked. Be sure to stir occasionally to keep the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Once the ingredients are cooked, remove the soup from the heat and blend. At this point, you can use an immersion blender or a regular blender. Blend to a creamy texture (puree).
Next, return the soup to (the pot) to the stove over low heat and in the heavy cream. Stir and let the bisque simmer for 5-7 minutes over low heat.
To serve, ladle the tomato bisque into a bowl and garnish it with herbs and (drizzle) heavy cream, and your favorite bread.
What Is The Difference Between Tomato Soup And Tomato Bisque?
The main difference between tomato soup and tomato bisque is mainly the addition of adding cream or whole milk.
Tomato soup generally does not include milk or heavy cream, the broth alone will be sufficient. However, tomato bisque is thicker and most often includes a blended starch.
What makes a soup a bisque?
A soup becomes bisque when it is thickened by adding starch and is pureed to a velvety smooth texture.
Does Bisque Always Have Cream?
The cream is most recommended. However, adding fat and dairy can help provide that silky texture alongside starch such as potato or rice starch.
What Is The Classic Thickener For A Bisque?
A classic thickener for bisque is either potato or rice starch. The starch is usually added with potato chucks or rice grains, then blended to a creamy velvety texture.
What Is The Main Liquid Ingredient Of A Bisque?
Bisque is a French Soup that’s smooth and creamy. The broth resembles a coulis and it can be served either hot or cold.
Because tomato bisque is a type of French soup, it is best enjoyed with certain dishes. Some of these dishes include;
- Sliced Baguette / Bread
- Milk Buns
- Caramelized Onion and Pear Grilled Cheese
- Haitian Bread
- Loaded Iceberg Wedged Salad
- Jalapeño Cornbread
- Blue Cheese Dressing
- Caesar Salad
Storage and Reheating
You can store the bisque in a refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. Using a freezer is your best bet if you plan on storing it for a long time.
To freeze the dish, keep the cream and parmesan cheese out. This is because they will make the soup curdle during reheating.
MORE SOUP RECIPES TO ENJOY
After trying this delicious soup, we recommend you try one of these soups next:
Haitian Soup Joumou (Squash Soup)
Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup
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Creamy Tomato Bisque
- 2 lb Tomatoes ( Or about 7 Tomatoes); chopped
- 2 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar
- 4 tablespoon Olive Oil; plus 1 Tbsp. for the tomatoes
- 4 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion; chopped
- 4 Cloves Garlic Cloves; minced
- 2 Celery Stalks; chopped
- 2 Green Onions; chopped
- 5 Fresh Thyme Sprigs
- 5 Fresh Parsley Sprigs
- 2 Large Potatoes; about 14.2 Oz together
- 4 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth; Low Sodium
- ¾ Cup Heavy Cream; about 6 oz.
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- To begin, start by cutting the tomatoes up roughly. Place them in a baking dish. Then, drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and lightly season with salt (we used Kosher Salt). Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.Next, prepare the ingredients by chopping and slicing the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onions and cook for 5-6 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 45 seconds. Do not let the garlic brown as this may alter the flavor of your bisque.
- Add the tomatoes and juice from the tomatoes to the mixture in the Dutch oven and stir well to combine. Stir in the broth and add in the chopped peeled potatoes. Season with herbs, salt, and pepper.Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid, and simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked. Be sure to stir occasionally to keep the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Once the ingredients are cooked, remove the soup from the heat and blend. At this point, you can use an immersion blender or a regular blender. Blend to a creamy texture (puree).Next, return the soup to (the pot) to the stove over low heat and in the heavy cream. Stir and let the bisque simmer for 5-7 minutes over low heat.To serve, ladle the tomato bisque into a bowl and garnish it with herbs and (drizzle) heavy cream, and your favorite bread.
What a delicious and comforting soup. Perfect with a grilled cheese.
This was the most comforting tomato soup recipe ever. We paired it with a simple grilled cheese for dinner and it totally hit the spot!
This is my ideal comfort food and it did not disappoint! Thank you! I can’t wait to add this to my regular meal plans.
Thank you very much, Ned
This recipe was fresh, delicious and satisfying. Creamy and tomato-ey with just the right seasonings. We served it with cheese quesadillas for dunking. Heaven!
I love soup season and this creamy tomato bisque is the perfect comfort food! Obviously I paired it with a grilled cheese 🙂