Nothing says “comfort food” like creamy homemade tomato bisque with fresh tomatoes. Add if it’s been awhile since you’ve had the satisfaction of a warm bowlful with a side of grilled cheese, then this recipe is for you! Campbell’s was fine when I was a kid, but nowadays nothing beats homemade soup, and I love that this TRULY IS homemade!
Fresh seasonal ripe tomatoes, onions, garlic, and juicy red pepper are roasted together for an amazingly rich flavor and combined with savory chicken broth and cream to strike the perfect balance of tart and sweet.
Batch up a bunch, ‘cause you’re gonna want this over and over again!
Homemade bisque also makes for a fantastic appetizer when you want to make an impression–top it with fresh basil, mozzarella and serve with bruschette and all of a sudden you’re fancy!
Why you will love this Recipe
Classic – I grew up in the 80’s and tomato soup was one of the most common lunches my mom would serve. Soups were super common as classic and retro dishes and we had way less sandwiches (unless we were talking PB&J) than we do now in 2021. If you were kid from before the 90’s, you will love this homestyle upgrade.
Comforting – All soups have an air of being comforting. From getting sick and being fed soup to simply curling up on the couch with warm bread and soup, nothing says savory and filling like a big bowl of soup.
Skip the can – So many people love soups like this but are used to getting them out of a can. And I am not one to knock the ease of canned soup! But once you learn how to make soups FRESH and HOMEMADE with REAL ingredients, there really is no going back.
Is it Tomato Soup or Tomato Bisque?
You will see that I use the term tomato soup and tomato bisque quite interchangeably. After all, the majority of this homemade soup is the same. The only difference between the two is the heavy whipping cream that is added right before serving, which changes it from a soup to a bisque.
- tomatoes – Nearly any type of tomato can be used for tomato soups so pick the kind you love the most. There is a charge below on how to convert type of tomato to pounds needed.
- onion– A white onion is preferred.
- garlic clove – For this recipe, you need 2 cloves of garlic. Remember that a garlic clove and a garlic bulb isn’t the same thing. A bulb HOLDS the cloves. If you have minced garlic on hand and prefer that, each clove is approximately equal to 3/4th tsp. to 1 tsp. minced garlic.
- heavy whipping cream – This is the ingredient that changes it from a soup to a bisque. It is also fine to leave out, but heavy whipping cream provides a really rich and creamy finishing taste and I prefer it.
- shredded cheese – Shredded cheese is for the topping and mozzarella, gouda or shaved Parmesan all work great.
How to make Tomato Bisque with Fresh Tomatoes
Make sure to check out the printable recipe card for full step by step instructions and ingredients.
Preheat oven to 400. Quarter 4 tomatoes and place in casserole dish.
Chop half and onion and place into dish with tomatoes.
Slice 1 red pepper and place in casserole dish.
Drizzle with oil and mix to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Top with fresh basil.
Roast vegetables for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool slightly.
Place into a blender (it may be necessary to blend half of the tomato mixture at a time) and blend until smooth.
Pour into a stock soup pot.
Add broth, tomato paste, sugar, oregano, dried basil and heat over medium high heat, stirring frequently until boiling. Reduce heat to simmer and cover for 10 minutes.
Remove cover and remove from heat. Stir in heavy whipping cream. Pour soup into bowls. Season with salt and pepper before serving and optionally top with pepper flakes. Top bowls with shredded cheese, bite-sized pieces of homemade croutons, and fresh basil if desired.
Top tomato bisque with grated or crumbled cheese (parmesan, cheddar, or mozzarella are my choices), homemade croutons, or even sliced avocado.
Tomatoes: use the ripest, reddest tomatoes you can find. Any fresh tomato will work for this recipe, but I usually use Roma or plum tomatoes. Here is a rough estimate of the number of tomatoes per pound that you’ll need (this recipe calls for approximately 2 lbs.)
- Cherry: 20
- Roma: 4-5
- Large variety: about 2
- Medium variety: about 3
Certain tomatoes can be really tart, and while the cream helps to balance out that tartness, you can also add cooked carrot or sweet potato, or even add extra sugar and cream. To make this recipe dairy-free, use coconut milk in place of whipping cream. Of course it will change the flavor but I absolutely LOVE coconut milk in tomato soup.
I leave my tomatoes whole and don’t peel them. Tomato skins are really healthy, and since I’m blending it all down at the end I don’t really notice the skins. Plus, peeling tomatoes is not exactly a simple process.
Fresh Tomato soup is, of course, delicious served with a grilled cheese sandwich. I also love eating it for lunch with a salad, like my Green Bean Salad with Feta or Avocado Salad, or with cooked veggies such as Braised Artichokes. Any hearty bread would work really well to dip into bisque.
Soup is one of my favorite recipes to batch up a LOT of, so knowing how to keep it tasting fresh is key. Store soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days, or in the freezer for 3 months. Make sure you take out any basil garnish before storing. Reheat soup slowly on the stovetop or in the microwave, stirring often.
If you want it a little smoother and creamier, I’d use an immersion blender, or use that if you don’t have an actual blender.
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Creamy Tomato Bisque
- 4 large tomatoes - quartered
- half of an onion - chopped
- 2 cloves garlic - cut in half
- 1 red pepper - sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 small can - 6 oz, tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 teaspoon dry basil
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- shredded cheese - optional for serving
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Quarter 4 large tomatoes and place in casserole dish.
- Chop half and onion and place into dish with tomatoes.
- Slice 1 red pepper and place in casserole dish.
- Drizzle with oil and mix to coat.
- Generously season with salt and pepper.
- Top with fresh basil leaves.
- Roast vegetables for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool slightly.
- Place into a blender (it may be necessary to blend half of the tomato mixture at a time) and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a stock soup pot.
- Add chicken broth, tomato paste, sugar, dried oregano, dried basil and continue to heat over medium high heat, stirring soup frequently until boiling.
- Reduce heat to simmer and cover for additional 10 minutes.
- Remove lid and remove entire pot from heat.
- Gently stir in whipping cream.
- Pour finished soup into bowls.
- Season with salt and pepper before serving and optionally top with pepper flakes.
- OPTIONAL: Top bowls with cheese, bite-sized pieces of homemade croutons, and fresh basil if desired.