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Tomato Bisque

5 from 5 votes
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posted: 09/02/21

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Tomato Bisque is so easy to make and home, and is the perfect light lunch or side for dinner. Serve it with some crusty bread and a salad for the most comforting of meals.

small soup bowl full of tomato bisque with cream drizzled on top

As we come back to soup season again for another year, I wanted to share with you an old classic on Simple Joy that we have updated with new photos. This amazing creamy Tomato Bisque recipe comes together in 30 minutes and is absolutely delicious.

The flavors of tomato, basil, and cream meld together perfectly to make a soup that tastes like you are at a fancy cafe in the comfort of your own home. We love soup recipes in our home, and I think this would make a great light dinner. Pair with our Caesar Salad for a full and complete meal you will come back to over and over.

Reader Review

I made this at work for soup of the day. Sooooo many compliments! One older gentleman said it was the best he had ever had. It is amazing. I loved it and will be making again!

overhead of a tomato bisque recipe that is drizzled with cream in a large stock pot

How to Make Tomato Bisque

  1. Sauté garlic and red onion. In a heavy bottomed stock pot, melt butter and sauté the garlic and red onion with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the onion is translucent.
  2. Make a roux. This is a creamy sauce, so we are going to make a roux by whisking all purpose flour into the residual butter left over from sautéing. You can read more about making a roux below.
  3. Add in tomato juice. Slowly whisk in some tomato juice. I like to go just a little at a time when making a roux. But the whole process of adding it should take less than a minute. Season it with red pepper flakes and dried basil.
  4. Add in tomatoes. Stir in some canned whole tomatoes. Bring it to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer, simmering for 15 minutes.
  5. Blend it. We love using an immersion blender to blend up the whole tomatoes. You could also transfer it to a blender in batches.
  6. Add the cream. Remove the soup from the heat and gently stir in some heavy cream.

Making a Roux

We use rouxs a lot in our recipes. This is a thickening agent made from flour and fat. Sometimes, like in our New England Clam Chowder, the fat can be bacon grease. In this recipe we are using the left over butter that we used to sauté the onion and garlic in.

There are two important parts to a roux.

  • Make sure the flour and the fat are fully whisked together. You want it to look like a paste before you move on to addicting liquid. If you can still see streaks of flour you are likely going to taste that in your final recipe.
  • When you start adding liquid to the roux (in this case tomato juice), go slowly at first, just a few tablespoons at a time. Whisk in that liquid so that it is fully absorbed by the roux before moving on. While I do encourage you to take care with this, you can go more quickly after the first little bit is added. The whole process should take no more than a minute or so.

A Note on Spice

This soup has a little bit of a kick to it. Between the pepper and crushed red pepper flakes it does have a little bite. I think it is perfect the way it is. But that being said, if you are sensitive to spice, I would leave out the red pepper flakes the first time you make this.

Storing Tomato Basil Bisque

This Tomato Bisque Soup recipe can be stored in the refrigerator, once cooled, in an air tight container for up to 4 days. As with all recipes, use your best discretion when eating left overs.

To reheat left overs, remove just the portion you plan on eating. Place in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until warmed through.

Freezing

This soup will freeze well. Place it in an air tight container with room for expansion. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in a stock pot over low heat, stirring often.

two bowls fo tomato basil bisque

What to Pair with Tomato Bisque

This recipe combined with another light recipe would make a full and delicious meal!

If you make this Tomato Bisque Soup recipe or any of other recipes, please leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

small soup bowl full of tomato bisque with cream drizzled on top
5 from 5 votes

Creamy Tomato Bisque

Serves: 5 cups
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
This Tomato Bisque is so easy to make and home, and is the perfect light lunch or side for dinner. Serve it with some crusty bread and a salad for the most comforting of meals.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 of a small red onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups tomato juice see note
  • 28 ounces whole tomatoes and their juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  • In a large stock pot over medium low heat, melt butter. Add garlic, red onion, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. The pieces of onion should break apart very easily with the end of a wooden spoon.
  • Whisk in the flour and continue cooking until the flour is fragrant and a light brown color.
  • Whisk in the tomato juice a little at a time, about a few tablespoons at a time, only adding more toamto juice once the previous amount is fully whisked in.
  • Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes and basil.
  • Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer and continue cooking, covered, for 15 minutes. At a simmer the bubbles should be the size of small grapes.
  • Either using an immersion blender or working in batches with a stand blender, puree the soup.
  • Remove from the heat and gently stir in the heavy cream.
  • Serve with crusty bread.

Notes

This recipe originally called for V8, a brand of tomato and vegetable juice sold in the United States. It was changed to make it more accessible. If you want to make the original, use 2 cups of V8 and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt instead of 1 teaspoon.
Serving: 1cup Calories: 295kcal (15%) Carbohydrates: 13g (4%) Protein: 4g (8%) Fat: 26g (40%) Saturated Fat: 15g (94%) Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 26g Cholesterol: 82mg (27%) Sodium: 513mg (22%) Potassium: 233mg (7%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 3g (3%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
small soup bowl full of tomato bisque with cream drizzled on top

did you make this

Creamy Tomato Bisque

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions

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  1. Rick says

    5 stars
    I made this at work for soup of the day. Sooooo many compliments! One older gentleman said it was the best he had ever had. It is amazing. I loved it and will be making again!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I couldn’t be happier to hear this! Thank you!

  2. Joan says

    What thickener would you recommend to replace the flour? I’m trying to make this GF for a friend. Thank you!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I haven’t tried thickening soup with a gluten free flour, but that is where I would start.

  3. Renee McLeaney says

    5 stars
    Love the recipe! I threw in a little parmesan, but otherwise as written. Yum!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you like it!

  4. Tina Miller says

    5 stars
    I have made this soup probably a dozen times. It is super (see what I did there) easy. I almost always have everything I need. And it is even better the second day! We like it with parmesan crisps to give it a little crunch and extra flavor.

    • Lisa Longley says

      This makes me so happy! Thank you for taking the time to tell me, Tina!

  5. Angel McCollum says

    I was just reading another recipe for Creamy Tomato Cheese Tortellini Soup because I have some leftover ricotta & spinach tortellini I need to do something with. I saw this recipe and thought ‘Why not use this and toss in some cheese tortellini?’ And I have some V8 juice I need to use up too. It sounds delish!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope you love it Angel!

  6. Louise Sebastian says

    The recipe sounds yummy. I want to serve it as a soup course for my Christmas Eve dinner. As the recipe stands, how many would it serve?
    Thanks

    • Lisa Longley says

      This makes roughly 6 cups. So if you are serving it as one of a few sides, I would count on six servings.

  7. Miranda says

    5 stars
    This is one of the best soups I have tasted. Family, my kiddos and friends love it! Thanks for sharing!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you like it!

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