Tomato Bisque is a luxurious alternative to your average canned tomato soup. With the robust taste of whole tomatoes and hint of peppery heat, each smooth and silky spoonful is spilling over with flavor!
Enjoy this 30 minute tomato bisque soup recipe with a melty grilled cheese sandwich, toasted bread, or all on its own!
I just can’t settle for average when it comes to my comfort foods! That’s why I always opt for this super easy tomato soup instead of the canned stuff.
It’s thick enough to hold up to all of our favorite breads, croutons, and toasted sandwiches, but has enough flavor and body that I can enjoy a bowl for a light dinner any day of the week!
Speaking of easy dinners, I have a wholesome veggie soup and slow cooker chicken noodle soup that find their way into my dinner rotation at least once a month in the wintertime.
These recipes are simple, soulful, and require minimal effort on your part. Win-win-win!
Ingredients & Substitutions for Easy Tomato Soup
- Onion & Garlic – Sauteeing your aromatics in butter is one of the things that sets a homemade tomato bisque recipe far apart from what you’d get in the grocery store.
That being said, I wouldn’t recommend going with dried or powdered seasonings this time around.
- Canned Whole Peeled Tomatoes – The liquid, too!
I recommend choosing a variety with garlic and crushed red pepper for added heat and flavor. Hunt’s is my favorite – but any brand works!
- Vegetable Broth – Water is also acceptable but won’t add nearly as much flavor. Beef, chicken, or mushroom stock are suitable substitutes.
- Heavy Cream – Can’t have a creamy soup without cream – well, actually, you can!
Substitute heavy cream with half and half, whole milk with some kind of thickener (either flour or cornstarch), or use coconut milk.
Almond milk could be used, too, but it adds sweetness. You may want to save your sugar till the end, after you taste test, to see if it’s necessary.
- Optional Toppings – I always end with fresh basil, shredded parmesan, and cracked black pepper.
How to Spice Up Tomato Soup (And Other Tips)
- Pile On The Pepper – To literally spice up this easy tomato soup, you can add your own crushed red pepper or cracked black pepper when you begin heating the tomatoes.
Those who particularly enjoy a peppery flavor may want to try added jalapeno or poblano peppers (sliced and de-seeded) as well, blending them together with the veggies and seasonings.
- Savory Substitutions – Did someone say bacon?? Maybe I was just thinking it, but a bit of bacon crumbled on top would be phenomenal.
You could also fry crumbled bacon bits with your aromatics (onion and garlic).
- Use Fresh Herbs – I use dried oregano, but fresh herbs are almost always better than the dried stuff!
You’ll need a good bit more – 3 tablespoons – to get the same intense flavor. Other herbs go well with tomato include basil (of course!), thyme, and parsley.
- Safety First – You’ll need a blender to get a perfectly silky smooth consistency!
If using a regular blender, not an immersion blender (which would make things easier), be incredibly careful when transferring the hot soup.
Ensure the lid is on before blending (but leave the center cap slightly open) and use a low/pulse setting.
Storing, Freezing, & Reheating Tomato Bisque
Leftovers are good in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Be sure to store in an airtight container and only reheat as much as you plan on eating at any one time.
Reheating then re-chilling is the perfect recipe for bacteria and food-borne illness. And that’s not the recipe we’re making today!
Tomato bisque also freezes very well! In a good, airtight container, it’ll last you for half a year. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Tomato Bisque FAQ
Basically, a tomato bisque is a very thick, creamy tomato soup.
Traditionally, in seafood bisques, this involved blending the actual shells of the shellfish to thicken the broth. In a tomato bisque soup recipe, though, you thicken the broth with cream.
No shells in sight! Just creamy, tomato-y goodness.
You can, but you’ll want to stew or boil them first.
They need to be soft and not too sweet. Remove the peels after boiling. You’ll need to compensate with additional garlic powder and crushed red pepper as well – the flavors that we’d get from your usual canned tomatoes.
Finally, add additional water or chicken stock to make up for the loss of liquid.
Grilled cheese! Always!
Now that we have the obvious out of the way, I tend to serve soups and stews with any kind of bread – garlic bread, bread sticks, and plain ol’ beer bread. Crusty baguettes and sourdough are great, too.
The best part about this family favorite is that you have options to pair with this perfect comfort food! You can add homemade croutons, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt, cheese croutons, or anything else that you want to add to your own personal bowl of tomato soup.
Creamy soups like this make the best leftovers! Once you make this creamy tomato bisque, let it cool down completely and then store it in an airtight container to keep that rich tomato flavor.
When you’re ready to eat and reheat, just add the leftovers to a large pot on the stove or warm this easy recipe in a bowl in the microwave. The great thing about this easy tomato bisque is that it’s simple to enjoy as the main dish again. Leftover soup is perfect for personal consumption when you don’t feel like making anything else. You’ll never get tired of the rich flavor, and this delicious soup recipe never disappoints.
Follow the simple steps for this easy soup recipe listed in the recipe card below. It’s seriously going to become one of your favorite soup recipes – just like it is mine!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Soups and Stews
Creamy Tomato Bisque Soup Recipe
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 28 ounces Hunt’s whole peeled tomatoes, garlic and crushed red pepper variety with liquid
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, or sugar substitute
- 1 cup water, or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- shredded parmesan cheese
- cracked black pepper
- fresh basil
- Melt butter in a 2-quart (or larger) saucepan over medium heat. When butter has melted, add onions and saute for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent.
- Add the minced garlic and dried oregano. Stir for 30 seconds, until garlic is fragrant.
- Pour in the canned tomatoes with their liquid, plus the sugar and water, then stir to combine. Increase burner heat, bring soup to a simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Alternatively, carefully transfer hot soup to a blender and puree, then return it to the pot. Add heavy cream to the pot and stir to combine.
- Serve warm, topped with optional cracked pepper, shredded parmesan cheese and/or basil.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published December 2022, updated and republished December 2023
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