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Easy creamy Tomato Bisque is the perfect comfort food on a chilly day. A savory fusion of tomatoes and aromatic vegetables with the slightest whisper of crushed red pepper heat, blended until smooth and finished with cream and a scatter of crispy croutons. So quick and easy to prepare! You’ll be enjoying a bowl in less than 30 minutes.

Creamy Tomato Bisque served in a white oval bowl

You might be surprised to see water instead of broth in this recipe, but I promise it makes a better soup. So many delicious soups are made with a broth or stock base (like French Onion Soup), but in this soup, as with Caldo Verde and Albondigas Soup, water in the right quantity allows flavors to shine where broth might compete.

Ingredients You Need to Make Tomato Bisque

For the Soup

  • Butter: salted butter or unsalted (whatever you have on hand)
  • Olive oil: ideally extra-virgin olive oil
  • Onion: yellow onion, white onion or sweet onion
  • Carrot: peeled or unpeeled, your choice
  • Celery: use an inner celery rib for the best flavor and texture
  • Garlic: fresh cloves that are firm with smooth skin
  • Canned Whole Tomatoes: be sure to use the juice as well
  • Dried Basil: or twice the amount of fresh basil if you have it on hand
  • Heavy Cream: a little goes a long way to give this bisque its rich and silky flavor
  • Crushed Red Pepper: just a pinch for a very gentle heat

For the Croutons

  • Bread: sourdough or other crusty loaf with the crust removed
  • Olive oil: ideally extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher Salt

What goes well with tomato bisque?

Though it’s hearty enough to be a meal on its own, this Tomato Bisque soup pairs well with almost any main dish (we often serve it with my favorite Turkey Meatloaf). At lunch, it’s delicious with a classic Jambon-Beurre sandwich, a grilled cheese sandwich or, even better, Welsh Rarebit or Savory Scones. Or skip the toasted croutons replacing them with grilled cheese ‘croutons’ instead, just a grilled cheese sandwich cut into bite size pieces.

Tomato Bisque served in a white bowl

FAQ

What is tomato bisque?

You may think of a seafood stock when you hear the word ‘bisque‘ and though that is the heritage of the term, modern use often refers to a blended soup that includes cream, often red pepper, squash, mushroom and, of course, tomato!

What is the difference between tomato soup and tomato bisque?

Though the terms are often used interchangeably (along with Cream of Tomato Soup), bisque is typically creamier and has a splash (or more) of added cream.

More Vegetarian Soups to Try

How to Make Tomato Bisque

In a large saucepan, cook onion, carrot, celery and garlic in butter and olive oil until tender. Add tomatoes, water and spices. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Cooking vegetables in butter and olive oil
Vegetables Tomatoes Water and aromatics
Tomato Bisque Simmering

Remove soup from heat and stir in cream; blend with an immersion blender or in batches in a traditional blender (using a towel to cover the pitcher instead of the lid). Return soup to pan and season to taste with salt and pepper, reheat to simmer if needed.

Adding cream to tomato bisque
Blending Tomato Bisque until smooth
Toasting Croutons for Tomato Bisque

Meanwhile make the croutons: Preheat oven to 400˚F. Toss fresh bread cubes with olive oil and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Season to taste with kosher salt. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside. Serve soup hot topped with croutons.

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Tomato Bisque

5 from 38 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Calories: 219
Servings: 6 people
You can make this delicious, creamy Tomato Bisque topped with crispy croutons in less than half an hour with this easy recipe!

Ingredients  

Soup

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced small
  • 1 large carrot diced small and peeled if desired
  • 1 large rib celery diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
  • 28 ounce can whole tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Croutons

  • 5 ounces sourdough bread crust removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt to taste

Instructions 

  • Heat butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until sizzling. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic; cook and stir until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, water, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and basil. Stir and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  • To finish the soup, remove from heat and stir in cream; blend in the pan with an immersion blender or blend in batches in a traditional blender. (Important note: Blending hot liquids in a traditional blender will blow the lid off which will make a mess and could burn you. Instead, use a towel to cover the top of of the pitcher while blending instead of the lid. )
  • Return blended soup to pan and season to taste with salt and pepper; reheat to simmer if needed.
  • Meanwhile make the croutons: Preheat oven to 400˚F. Add bread cubes to a medium bowl and drizzle with olive oil; toss to coat. Spread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and season to taste with kosher salt. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • Serve soup hot topped with croutons.

Nutrition

Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 738mg | Potassium: 379mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2410IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 2.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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105 Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious and I paired with a fontina and cheddar grilled cheese

    1. Marissa says:

      So glad you enjoyed this bisque, Jennifer! Your grilled cheese alongside it sounds like the perfect match.

  2. Jenny says:

    5 stars
    I made this tonight with grilled cheese. It was easy and delicious! Will pin it to make again.

    1. Marissa says:

      Perfect combo! So glad you enjoyed it, Jenny! Thank you for coming back to let me know.

  3. Kendra says:

    5 stars
    Wow! This looks amazing! I’m so hungry for tomato bisque now! I absolutely love the grilled cheese croutons! What a great idea! This is definitely going on my planned menu this week!
    Thank you,
    Kendra

    1. Marissa says:

      Yay! Thanks so much, Kendra!!

  4. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says:

    5 stars
    Tomato soup and grilled cheese is my ultimate comfort food; we’re expecting storms in a few days so I’m going to make sure I have everything on hand to make your tomato bisque. I can taste it already!

    1. Marissa says:

      Love to hear that! Thank you, Kelsie!

  5. Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says:

    5 stars
    This bisque needs to happen with a grilled cheese on the side at our house ASAP Marissa!

    1. Marissa says:

      Woohoo! Thank you, Mary Ann!