This easy Creamy Tomato Bisque has a silky-smooth texture and rich tomato flavor. It’s my go-to soup for pairing with grilled cheese
The ingredients are simple, it doesn’t take long to make, and it does great in the freezer. Make a big batch and you’ll have some for tonight and enough for a couple of future dinners.
What about the tomatoes
In this recipe I used a blend of canned whole, peeled tomatoes and fresh roasted tomatoes. While you can use all fresh tomatoes, there is always the risk of them not being flavorful enough and the tomatoes are the center of this recipe. I find that combining the canned tomatoes with fresh roasted tomatoes works best. The roasted tomatoes add a deeper tomato flavor and using a good brand of canned, whole, peeled tomatoes ensures a consistent flavor. Simply toss them with olive oil and kosher salt and roast them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. No need to remove the skins since they will be broken down when the soup is pureed. If you just don’t have the time to roast the fresh tomatoes, substitute them with canned fire roasted tomatoes.
I also do not remove the seeds from my tomatoes when I make sauce or soup. I follow the advice of Cook’s Illustrated on Seeding vs Not Seeding Tomatoes. It eliminates the hassle of removing them and doesn’t result in any added bitterness.
If you choose to use all fresh tomatoes, you will want very ripe or soft tomatoes that are not over-ripened. Boil them for 60 seconds and shock them in ice water.
When serving you can add croutons, parmesan cheese, basil or a touch of heavy cream. If you do add the cream, use a toothpick to swirl designs through the heavy cream.
4mediumfresh tomatoes, roasted (or 15 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes)
3fresh thyme sprigs
1 ¾teaspoonkosher salt
1fresh basil leaf for each serving
1tablespoonfreshly grated parmesanoptional
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until crisp and most of the fat has rendered, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside**. Lower the heat to medium, add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Pour in the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the pot. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
When the soup base is cool, remove and discard the herb bundle. Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Using a sieve over a large bowl, strain the tomato puree. Return the puree to the pot and reheat over medium heat.
Whisk the heavy cream and salt into the soup and season with pepper to taste. Divide among warm soup bowls, garnish with croutons, fresh basil and parmesan cheese or additional cream. Serve immediately.
Creamy Tomato Bisque
Amount Per Serving
Calories 323Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Vitamin A 3548IU71%
Vitamin C 41mg50%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
**The bacon can be used in a salad. I don’t leave it in the bisque because I find it to be overpowering. Including it when sautéing the vegetables provides enough of the bacon flavor.