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This tomato bisque recipe is tangy and creamy! This classic soup makes a tasty lunch paired with bread or grilled cheese.

Tomato Bisque

Here’s a cozy, creamy soup that works in nearly any season: try Tomato Bisque! This vibrant puree melds bright tomatoes, garlic and aromatic vegetables with a touch of cream for a rich, silky body. It’s pure and simple, perfect with a hunk of crusty artisan bread or a grilled cheese sandwich. Here’s how to make a simple tomato bisque!

Ingredients in tomato bisque

A bisque is a creamy pureed soup that’s French in origin. A traditional bisque uses ground seafood shells as a thickener, like ground lobster or shrimp shells, and heavy cream to add richness. There are also vegetable-based bisques that are blended and thickened with cream, like butternut squash, red pepper or tomato.

While it sounds fancy, a tomato bisque is simple to make: it’s essentially a French-style creamy tomato soup. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Butter or olive oil
  • Yellow onion
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • White wine vinegar (or white wine)
  • Fire roasted diced tomatoes (or San Marzano or best quality tomatoes)
  • Vegetable or chicken broth
  • Sugar and salt
  • Heavy cream
Fire roasted tomatoes

Use fire roasted or best quality tomatoes

The key to this tomato bisque recipe? The quality of the tomatoes. Low quality canned tomatoes have a bitter, flat flavor that can’t be compensated with extra seasoning. If you can find fire roasted tomatoes, they have a pure, developed flavor with less simmering time. Here are a few notes on finding best quality tomatoes:

  • Fire roasted tomatoes are a type of canned tomato that’s cooked over an open flame before canning. It makes the flavor beautifully sweet out of the can, instead of acidic like many canned tomato varieties.
  • Where to get them? This type of tomato is easy to find in grocery stores in the US; they’re sold by several brands (Muir Glen is a favorite brand of ours). Look for fire roasted tomatoes in the canned tomatoes section.
  • What if you can’t find them? Substitute the best quality canned tomatoes you can find and increase the simmer time by 10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar if the flavor still seems bitter.
Tomato bisque recipe

Tips for tomato bisque

This tomato bisque recipe is simple to make: you’ll sauté the vegetables, add tomatoes and broth and simmer, then puree the soup and add cream. Here are a few pointers:

  • Sauté the vegetables until tender. It’s important to make sure the vegetables are tender before adding the tomatoes so they’re not crunchy in the final soup.
  • A standard blender works best (vs a stick blender). We used to love the convenience of an immersion blender (aka stick blender), but it doesn’t get the soup nearly as creamy of a texture.
  • Don’t skimp on the cream. The cream brings a rich, thicker texture and a luxurious mouthfeel. It’s absolutely essential!

Ways to serve it

Pureed soups like tomato bisque are delicious: but they’re not a meal in themselves! You’ll need to add some protein to make a filling meal. Here are a few ideas:

Tomato bisque recipe

More soup recipes

Love cozy soups? Here are a few more great soup recipes to try?

This tomato bisque recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Tomato Bisque

Tomato Bisque

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This tomato bisque recipe is tangy and creamy! This classic soup makes a tasty lunch paired with bread or grilled cheese.


  • 3 tablespoons salted butter or olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar**
  • 28-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes*
  • 1 quart vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream


  1. In a medium pot, heat the butter or olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the onions are tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the white wine vinegar and cook until evaporated.
  2. Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth and salt and bring to a steady simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes. Carefully transfer to a blender using a ladle, then blend until creamy (or an immersion blender). Stir in the cream.
  3. Serve immediately, garnished with a drizzle of olive oil or cream and chopped or thinly sliced basil. Leftovers store refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for 3 months.


*If you can’t find fire roasted tomatoes, use the best quality tomatoes you can find (San Marzanos are also a flavorful variety). Simmer for an additional 10 minutes, then taste and add a teaspoon or so of sugar if the flavor tastes bitter.

**If you have it on hand, substitute ¼ cup white wine and cook until all of the wine evaporates. 

  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stoveop
  • Cuisine: French
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Tomato bisque, tomato bisque recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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