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Tomato Bisque

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  40 min
  • Calories: 261
a bowl of homemade tomato bisque with a spoon garnished with a drizzle of cream and fresh chopped basil
Photography by Gayle McLeod

We’re crazy about this rich and creamy tomato bisque. Dip your grilled cheese sandwich into a bowl of this and you’ll never open another can of Campbell’s again!

The Best Tomato Bisque For The Win!

It’s hard to imagine that there could be a more perfect food than tomato soup, but this recipe for easy tomato bisque will likely win hearts the next time you make it! What’s so great about it you may ask? It’s creamy and sophisticated yet the kids won’t even know it’s packed with onions, carrots, and tomatoes! In about 30 minutes, you’ll have an easy, homemade tomato bisque that can be turned into a quick dinner when paired with grilled cheese, roasted vegetables, or even a simple salad. Better yet, almost all of the ingredients can be found in your fridge or kitchen pantry! It’s truly impressive how simple this tomato bisque is, so much so that we could go on and on raving about it! Rather, we’ll let you try it for yourself.

butter, carrots, onion, canned tomatoes, bay leaves, oil, salt, pepper, chicken stock, basil and cream to make tomato bisque

What Constitutes a Bisque?

Think of it as tomato soup’s, older, elevated, French cousin. And leave it to the French (known for their inspirational use of dairy products) to add cream to soup to make it extra rich. If you’re wondering what is the difference between tomato soup and a bisque, originally a bisque was a combination of seafood and heavy cream. Now, it’s most commonly known as a puréed soup that has been enriched with dairy while, a tomato soup, usually uses a veggie stock without the use of whole milk or cream. In our tomato bisque recipe, the cream adds a silky, luxurious texture giving it a more full-bodied feel. There’s also sautéed carrots and onions, chicken stock, canned tomatoes, and fresh basil for many levels of deliciousness. We promise, this bisque is worth writing home about.

carrots and onions being cooked in a large soup pot with melted butter to use in tomato bisque
carrots, onion, butter, tomatoes, bay leaves, olive oil, salt, pepper, and chicken stock in a pot for tomato bisque

Is Tomato Bisque Good For You?

Since this is a French cooking technique, we’ll also follow their “everything in moderation” lead when it comes to dairy! With that being said, tomatoes actually contain a bright red carotenoid, lycopene, which is a very powerful cancer fighting antioxidant and high amounts of Vitamin C. They are one of the few veggies (well, technically fruits!) that when heated, their bioavailability increases meaning an uptake in nutrients! PLUS, we guarantee not only will homemade soup taste better than canned tomato soup, BUT it’s better for you as well! We can absolutely eat to that! Sometimes a cream-laden soup is just what the soul needs, and for that reason, we agree that tomato bisque is indeed very good for you.

homemade tomato bisque being blended with an immersion blender in a soup pot
blended homemade tomato bisque in a pot with cream being poured in

What Goes Well With Tomato Bisque?

Served alone, creamy tomato bisque makes for a perfect, light appetizer. But, teamed up, the bisque comes alive! For lunch, we love tomato bisque served with our fresh Simple Green Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette, Easy Niçoise Salad or the perfect cozy accompaniment, Maple Roasted Squash Salad. Of course, tomato’s natural paring is cheese: fried cheese , the Perfect Grilled Cheese, or Keto Ham and Cheese Pockets would be excellent. Get fancy with it: try a Roasted Rhubarb and Chevre Grilled Cheese. To round out the meal, pair it with another veggie such as Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Braised Greens with Golden Raisins and Maple, or Rosemary Roasted Potatoes.

How To Make Homemade Tomato Bisque

  1. Cook your veggies! Start with butter, carrots, and onion in a 5 quart pot and cook until translucent. You’ll start to smell the flavors meld together!

  2. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, olive oil, salt, pepper and chicken stock. Bring it to a boil and then reduce to a simmer!

  3. Herbs for the win! Add a few fresh basil leaves and purée the soup in a blender or using an immersion blender.

  4. Are you ready to bisque? Return the soup to the pot and stir in the cream until smooth and velvety.

  5. Serve with a garnish of fresh basil, and a swirl of cream. Voilà!

homemade tomato bisque made with tomatoes, carrots, onion, spices, basil and cream in a pot being stirred with a wooden spoon

Tools You’ll Need

Did Someone Say Bisque?

There’s plenty of ways to bisque up a soup, and we have a few other ideas up our sleeves! Check out our 30 Best Soup Recipes for when you’re craving a warm cozy bowl or dig into these comforting dishes:

a bowl of homemade tomato bisque garnished with cream and fresh basil and topped with fried cheese

Soup’s On!

As the temperature drops outside, keep it warm inside! In no time you’ll have a delicious bowl of tomato bisque (and maybe a grilled cheese, too!) Snap a photo before you dive in and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy Eating!

Tomato Bisque

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  40 min
  • Calories: 261

Ingredients

Tomato Bisque Recipe

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 5 to 6 fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup heavy cream, plus more for garnish
  • Crushed chili flakes (optional)

Method

  1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the carrots and onions; cook stirring until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaves, olive oil, salt, pepper, and chicken stock.

  2. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat.

  3. Remove the bay leaves from the soup and add the basil. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth. (Alternatively, transfer the soup to the base of a blender, let cool briefly, blend until smooth.)

  4. Return the soup to the pot and pour in the cream. Stir until fully incorporated.

  5. Garnish with basil and a drizzle of cream and crushed red pepper flakes, if using.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories261
  • Protein4 g
  • Carbohydrates16 g
  • Total Fat22 g
  • Dietary Fiber4 g
  • Cholesterol25 mg
  • sodium216 mg
  • Total Sugars9 g

Tomato Bisque

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Jan Philpott

    Can you freeze this soup with the cream in it or should you add cream when heating it up?

    You could do either but you have less of a risk of the cream separating if you add it when reheating. If you add it before freezing just reheat slowly. Hope you enjoy Jan!

  • Corbin Roberts

    Can you prep the cheese balls ahead of time and fry them direct from freezer?

    Yes! That might even be ideal. So that the cheese doesn't ooze out when you fry it. Enjoy!

  • Lily

    Is there a slow cooker way to make this soup? Thanks! L.O.V.E. all your recipes!

    You bet! I would add the butter, carrots, onions, tomatoes, olive oil, bay leaves, salt and pepper and only 1 cup of chicken stock (crock-pots produce a lot of liquid). I've never tested it, but I would try high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. When it's done, I would ad the basil. Then blend it. Then add the cream and serve with the fried cheese.

  • Lina

    Never tried fried cheese before! Looks amazing

    Believe me when I say, it is.

  • Violet H

    That fried cheese has me sold! This would be an excellent dinner for fall days!

    I agree!

  • Scott Richards

    So good!

    Glad you loved it Scott! Thanks for trying it out!

  • Scott Richards

    Just made this. I give it 11 stars out of 5!

    HAHA! Thanks Scott!

  • Ferenc Fekete

    We really love it, the best tomato soup!

    Thanks Ferenc! So glad you love it!

  • Audrey Graham

    This was absolutely delicious! I'm not a tomato soup fan and I couldn't get enough! The cheese balls were a nice touch too and all 3 of my children liked this.

    Thanks Audrey! We are so happy to hear the whole family enjoyed it!

  • Peggy

    I made this today and it was amazing and easy. Was not sure about the fried cheese but oh my, it makes the soup even better. This will be a family favorite now.

    Thanks Peggy! We are so happy you loved it! We never even realized we were missing fried cheese either, but now we are OBSESSED!