Sure, boxed tomato soup isn’t bad in a pinch, but carve out (a little) time to make this ultimate creamy tomato bisque. While you’re at it, prep your grilled cheese, croutons or whatever trusty bread companion you invariably pair with tomato bisque, too.
If you’re in the mood for cozy soups, then try my Creamy Spinach Tortellini Soup recipe, next!
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This one is good, like, really good. Probably the best-tomato-bisque-recipe-out-there, kind of good. This soup is hearty without giving the heavy fullness effect that some claim to feel after eating it.
For those nights when you’re looking for a low effort, high reward and satisfying soup–go for this easy tomato bisque. Oh, and please do me a favor and pair this with a grilled cheese, mozzarella sticks croutons–SOMETHING bready. It’s just too good not to!
Tools You’ll Need
What is the Difference Between Tomato Bisque and Tomato Soup?
While both are delicious, they are quite different, especially when it comes to the texture. Tomato bisque is thicker and creamier in texture, and calls for the use of milk and/or cream. In its early incarnations, bisque called for the use of shellfish stock, but the soup has evolved, and the use of milk or heavy cream will still consider it a bisque,
Tomato soup on the other hand, is brothy, calling for chicken or vegetable stock.
What Type of Tomatoes Should You Use?
Wintertime in California means tomatoes are not in season. In these times, I rely on canned tomatoes, but not just any canned tomatoes–I’m partial to a specific one; San Marzano canned tomatoes are my go-to. They’re insanely delicious and will kick your marinara sauce, stew, bisque, basically–anything-that-contains-a-tomato-base game up a notch. Go for a couple of cans of San Marzano tomatoes and you can thank me later.
What You’ll Need to Make this Tomato Bisque
The required amounts of milk and cream for this bisque are not on the heavy side–just enough to balance the heartiness and up the creaminess factor a bit. If you want a creamier texture, add more cream. Sometimes I like to top my bowl with a drizzle, as it adds to the aesthetic and gives a fantastic mouthfeel.
- Fats: Butter and quality olive oil
- Vegetables: Yellow onion, shallots, leeks, carrot, celery, san marzano crushed tomatoes,
- Liquids: Chicken (or vegetable) stock, whole milk, heavy cream
- Spices: Red pepper flakes, kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper
Looking for More Great Recipes?
Keep the comfy-feels going with these good eats:
Comfort in Soup Form
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon good olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup shallots, chopped
- 1 large leek, white and light green parts, sliced into coins
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 – 28 ounce cans San Marzano crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste – Diamond Crystal Brand
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper, or to taste
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Parmesan, grated, for garnish
- Freshly cracked pepper, for garnish
- Quality olive oil, for garnish
- Heat butter and olive oil in a dutch pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, shallots, leeks, and sauté for 7 minutes, stir occasionally taking care to not let the mixture get brown/crispy. Add carrots and celery and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and press into vegetables using the back of spoon. Stir and cook until tomato paste turns a rust color.
- Add crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, milk, heavy cream, pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until mixture has slightly thickened. Stir occasionally.
- Add kosher salt, pepper and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender to carefully blend bisque to desired consistency. If using a blender, carefully ladle soup into the blender jar. You may have to do this in 2-3 batches.
- Serve hot and garnish with fresh parmesan, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.