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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.

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  1. Ginny Shuflin says

    Love this recipe, so going to try it. Have lost 80# over the last year and could not have done it without some amazing soups that I have learned to clean up some of the fat from with no change in taste or texture.

    Soon as I read this, I thought about one of the tricks I learned a long time ago. Substitute quick oats for heavy cream in a recipe. It will thicken the soup like heavy cream without the fat with the added bonus of fiber.

    • Yvette says

      thats cool..but then adds carbs! hmmmm Fat vs Carbs…. interesting!! haha… i want more protein… cream has protein right? lol..sigh

  2. Melissa says

    There is nothing I love more than a wonderful tomato bisque! Can’t wait to try this! Saving cream in my fridge right now for just this purpose!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope you like it Melissa!

  3. diane says

    this soup was excellent. Next time, however I will use half and half to cut calories, and double the recipe!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you liked it Diane!

  4. julie says

    Going to make this for a dinner party on Sunday but, how many servings does this recipe serve?

    • Lisa Longley says

      It depends on how big of servings you make it, but if you just want it as a small starter, I would say 8, conservatively 6.

      • julie says

        Thank you!

  5. Diane says

    i made this soup again today. It was very good. This time I used almond milk instead of cream. Maybe a little thinner, but it was still good, and lots less calories. I doubled the recipe, also added about 1/2 tsp garlic and onion powder. Now I have to find something to replace the butter, cut more calories.

  6. Renee says

    Made this soup last night and it was very good. The only change I’ll make next time is to reduce the red pepper flakes…it was pretty spicy for us with the 1/2 tsp. I used half and half in place of the heavy cream as well. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you liked it!

  7. Amy says

    Thank you so much for posting this easy and delicious recipe. I have made tomato bisque many times, and this recipe is great! I think that the v8 and red pepper flakes are the key to the different, bold flavor. I did substitute half and half for the cream, I also used fresh basil, and broiled, skinned and diced fresh tomatoes. Rather than zipping through a food processor I simmered longer and left it chunkier as I prefer a chunkier soup. Thank you again, I will definitely use this recipe again!

    • Lisa Longley says

      So glad you liked it Amy!

  8. Gail says

    I am not sure how many servings this makes.

    • Lisa Longley says

      It totally depends on how big of servings you are talking. I would say four to six.

  9. Judith Casey says

    Hi Lisa,

    What is V8 please? We don’t have it in South Africa

    Thank you

    • Lisa Longley says

      It’s a vegetable juice sold in the US. You could substitute with tomato juice!

  10. Elizabeth A Milewski says

    This is so delicious!!! Perfect with a grilled cheese on a fall day!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so happy you liked it Elizabeth!

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