Thick and Creamy Tomato Bisque with a hint of tartness from the tomatoes, is a perfect soup for cold winter days. It is healthy, gluten-free, and an 'Easy to make' recipe. Serve this with a big slice of crusty garlic cheese toast or grilled cheese.
After sharing so many soup recipes, finally sharing a classic Tomato Bisque recipe today. I can say Tomato Bisque is a close cousin of Tomato Soup, with a more rich, smooth, and velvety texture.
This silky super smooth tomato bisque recipe is a keeper. It has found a place in my list of soup and bisque recipes that I go back to very often.
You can make it from scratch using fresh tomatoes or use canned tomatoes. And it is delicious, either way.
Before you get overwhelmed with the name Bisque, let me tell you the difference between Tomato Bisque and Tomato Soup.
What's the difference between Tomato Bisque and Tomato Soup?
Though the term bisque is liberally used for any creamy, thick soup nowadays, although originally the term was used to refer to a particular type of soup.
Bisque is generally referred to as a French-style soup made from shellfish stock and the meat is blended until it is smooth to give the soup a creamy velvety texture.
I am sure you might have come across terms like lobster bisque, shrimp bisque, or crab bisque. It's is rich, super creamy and so satisfying.
But don't worry, this Tomato bisque can be absolutely vegetarian by choosing vegetable stock instead.
Tomato Bisque - Fresh or Canned Tomatoes?
Fresh or Canned Tomatoes, which is better? I have tried both and there is barely any difference. If you have good quality ripe, plum fresh tomatoes, then you can use them.
Canned tomatoes from a good brand can be used to quicken the process.
Made with natural ingredients from scratch, this tomato bisque soup is very healthy.
This soup is naturally gluten-free. There is no flour to thicken the soup.
I have used carrot along with the vegetable stock, which gives the body to the soup and makes it creamy. And there are canned tomatoes which go without saying.
You can also use Chicken stock instead of vegetable stock. I prefer to use chicken stock since it gives a more well-rounded flavour to the dish. If the stock is not available, you may use chicken broth instead.
Then there is cream to give the soup a silky smooth texture. I have used Half & Half here - which is equal proportions of milk and cream.
You can adjust the quantity of cream or butter used as per your nutritional requirements.
To add some spice and flavour to the bisque, add minced garlic, cayenne pepper and dried basil. Cayenne pepper is for the heat and a little will go a long way. You may skip it if you do not want any heat in the bisque.
Instead of dried basil, you can also sprinkle some fresh basil to top it up.
Another best thing about this recipe is, this can easily be converted to a vegan variety.
Substitute butter with Olive oil and cream with coconut milk or cashew cream for Vegan Tomato Bisque.
I have already used vegetable stock but you can also make the stock by yourself. Vegetable stocks come with all the flavour from a mix of vegetables plus a few herbs if you like. You can make it at home or buy from a trusted brand in the store.
Steps to prep the tomatoes
While making Tomato Bisque with fresh tomatoes, first prep the tomatoes. You can blanch them in hot boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then add the blanched tomatoes to an ice bath. Once cold enough to touch, peel, and remove as many seeds as possible.
Another way of prepping the tomatoes, that I prefer is using the microwave.
- Make 3-4 not so deep and long vertical cuts in the tomatoes.
- Place tomatoes in a microwave-safe glass bowl and microwave for 5 minutes. Let it rest for a couple of minutes.
- By now the peels would have loosened by themselves. You can easily separate the peels now.
If you decide to go for fresh tomatoes, you can also oven roast seasoned tomatoes before adding them to the soup. Roasted Tomato Bisque has more depth of flavour.
Tips to Store bisque
Freeze - Tomato Bisque can easily be frozen. If you are planning to make a big batch and freeze it then don't add the cream at the end.
Portion the soup and freeze them in food-safe freezer bags. Before serving, let it thaw completely. Heat it and add the cream.
Refrigerate - Pour it into an air-tight container and you can refrigerate it for 2-3 days.
Top this soup with some Grilled cheese or crunchy Homemade croutons.
More Soup Recipes to keep you warm
CREAMY TOMATO BISQUE
- 1.5 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 Medium Onion
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 2 Medium Carrot
- 1 28 oz Crushed Tomato can
- 2.5 cups Vegetable Stock
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Basil
- 1 Teaspoon Oregano
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (optional)
- ½ cup Half and Half
- Salt and Pepper
- Melt butter in a heavy bottom pan.
- Add chopped Chopped Onion, Minced Garlic and Chopped Carrot to it. Saute until the raw smell is gone. About 1-2 minutes.
- Add Crushed Tomatoes, Vegetable Stock, Cayenne, Basil, Oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Cover and let it come to a boil.
- After 6-7 minutes, take the pan off the flame. Using an immersion blender blend until it is really smooth.
- Stir in the half and half.
- Top with more cream while serving. Serve with crusty garlic bread or grilled cheese.
- If you are using fresh tomato instead, then take 10-12 large tomatoes (roughly 800 grams - 900 grams). Blanch them and discard the seeds.
- Amount of sugar and seasoning depends on how tart the tomatoes are. If they are more tart, increase the amount of sugar to your taste.
- Substitute butter with Olive oil and cream with coconut milk or cashew cream for Vegan Tomato Bisque.