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Tomato Basil Bisque Recipe (With Fresh Tomatoes)

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Tomato Basil Bisque is an easy recipe to make for a comfort-filled meal from scratch anytime! Fresh tomatoes, basil, sweet aromatics and cream combine for one delicious spoonful after another.

Two bowls of tomato bisque topped with croutons and fresh basil leaves.

Savory Comfort in Every Spoonful: Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque

There’s something undeniably comforting and satisfying about a bowl of homemade creamy tomato soup. When it’s infused with aromatic sweet basil and just enough cream to give it a silky texture, it feels extra indulgent.

As summer transitions to autumn, your garden may be overflowing with a bounty of ripe tomatoes. This Tomato Basil Bisque is a great way to turn your final harvest into a delicious creamy soup you can enjoy for weeks to come. 

Those plump, sun-kissed tomatoes bursting with flavor are the stars of this dish. However, don’t fret if you’re craving a creamy tomato bisque outside of tomato season. With quality canned or greenhouse-grown tomatoes, you can recreate this delightful soup any time of year.

Whether you’re harvesting the last of your summer tomatoes or seeking a heartwarming dish to enjoy year-round, this recipe is a must-try.

Three bowls of tomato bisque topped with croutons and fresh basil leaves on a white washed wooden table.

Gather Your Tomato Basil Bisque Ingredients

This recipe uses fresh and simple ingredients for the best comforting soup!

  • Fresh tomatoes — if you’re lucky enough to grow these in your garden, let them ripen for the best tomato flavor. When shopping for fresh tomatoes, look for ripe sweet tomatoes with brilliant color. 
  • Sweet onion — even the ripest, sweetest tomatoes can read acidic, so incorporating a sweet onion variety can provide balance.
  • Garlic cloves — adds earthy fragrance. 
  • Extra virgin olive oil — tossed with the veggies before roasting to promote a little browning and add a grassy undertone.
  • Fresh basil leaves — tomato’s partner in crime. Sweet basil amps up the flavor factor.
  • Broth — use vegetable or chicken broth; I prefer low-sodium varieties.
  • Heavy cream — turns your tomato soup into a bisque and adds some tooth and luxurious silkiness.
  • Seasonings — kosher salt + fresh cracked black pepper (optional: sugar and red pepper flakes).
Fresh basil and ripe tomatoes on the vine in a wooden bowl.

How To Make Tomato Basil Bisque

  1. Roast the vegetables — toss tomatoes, onion, and garlic with olive oil, salt + pepper, then roast on a baking sheet to concentrate the flavors. The onions and garlic should be tender and have a little color.
  2. Puree the vegetables — blend the roasted veggies (and accumulated juices) with fresh basil until smooth.
  3. Add the liquids — simmer the pureed tomato mixture in a large saucepan with broth and heavy cream to allow the flavors to marry. Taste and season as needed. 

Garnish with croutons, crackers, more fresh basil, a little sprinkle of parmesan cheese…however you like it!

Helpful Recipe Tips

  • Puree the roasted tomatoes in a regular blender or food processor. To use an immersion blender, transfer the vegetables and accumulated juices to a saucepan first.
  • Add a little sugar (listed as an optional ingredient) if you need to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between soup and bisque?

Merriam Webster defines soup as a liquid food with a meat, fish or vegetable stock base that often contains pieces of solid food. A bisque is a thick, cream soup that’s pureed smooth. All bisques are soup, but not the other way around. 

How do I store and reheat leftovers?

Transfer cooled leftover soup to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. You can reheat in a saucepan on the cooktop over medium heat or in the microwave.

Can I freeze this recipe?

Definitely! Cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container; leave a small amount of space at the top for expansion. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating. Transfer to a saucepan over medium heat and whisk as it warms through (this will help reincorporate any separation of cream). Alternatively, if you intend to freeze this recipe from the start, you can omit the cream during the initial cook; cool, then freeze. Add the cream in when you reheat the pureed soup.

Can I double this recipe?

This is a great recipe to double and freeze half for later (see the question above). You’ll likely need two sheet pans for roasting and large pot for simmering. Puree the roasted veggies and basil in batches for ease and safety.

Can I make this vegan?

Omit the cream altogether and replace it with additional vegetable broth for a delicious basil tomato soup recipe. For that bisque experience, try these dairy-free substitutes (my favorites are plant-based heavy whipping cream like Silk brand, non-dairy milk + cornstarch, vegan cashew cream or white bean cream). 

What kinds of tomatoes can I use?

I used Campari tomatoes. They are sweet, with low acidity; larger than cherry tomatoes, but smaller than Roma tomatoes (BTW, both of these varieties would work, too). Home grown or purchased heritage and heirloom tomato varieties are also great choices. You can use a single variety or a combination for complexity of flavor. If it’s not tomato season and good quality, greenhouse grown are not available, consider canned San Marzano tomatoes (I love using these for tomato sauce).

White bowl of tomato bisque topped with three croutons and fresh basil leaves.

When to Make This Tomato Bisque Recipe

Tomato Basil Bisque make a great light meal on its own, but pairing it with a grilled cheese sandwich is a classic choice! Enjoy it with a lovely salad to keep it vegan.

It also makes a great starter course for dinner parties, complimenting dishes like Baked Creamy Cheesy Chicken Breasts, Skillet Polenta with Burrata, and Baked Cheesy Pasta + Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash.

Two white bowls of tomato bisque with croutons and fresh basil on a wood table.

Tomato Lovers’ Must-Try Recipes

Fresh basil and ripe tomatoes on the vine in a wooden bowl.

Tomato Basil Bisque (With Fresh Tomatoes)

Linda Feller
Tomato Basil Bisque is an easy recipe to make for a comfort-filled meal from scratch anytime! Fresh tomatoes, basil, sweet aromatics and cream combine for one delicious spoonful after another.
Prep time.18 minutes
Cook time.50 minutes
Total time.1 hour 8 minutes
Course.Soup
Cuisine.American, French
Number of servings.4 makes about (4) 1 cup servings
Calories per serving.237 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh tomatoes, cored, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 1 sweet onion, halved + sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, left whole
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt + fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped, loosely packed (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth, or chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream, (see notes for vegan alternatives)

Optional ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon sugar, to balance the acidity of the tomatoes
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes, for a hint of heat
  • croutons, crackers, parmesan cheese, etc., to garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Toss tomatoes, onion and garlic with the olive oil on a baking sheet. Season with kosher salt + fresh ground black pepper. Roast for 40 minutes until the tomato skins are shriveled, and onions have a tinge of color; the garlic should be soft throughout.
  • Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer everything, including accumulated juices, to a blender or food processor along with the basil and puree until smooth. (See notes.)
  • Transfer to a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the broth and bring it up to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the heavy cream. Simmer for another 5-7 minutes. Add salt + pepper. Add red pepper flakes if desired and sugar if needed.

Video

Notes

  1. To use an immersion blender, transfer the vegetables and accumulated juices to a saucepan first.
  2. Transfer cooled leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in a saucepan on the cooktop over medium heat or in the microwave.
  3. To freeze: cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container; leave a small amount of space at the top for expansion. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating. Transfer to a saucepan over medium heat and whisk as it warms through (this will help reincorporate any separation of cream). Alternatively, if you intend to freeze this recipe from the start, you can omit the cream during the initial cook; cool, then freeze. Add the cream in when you reheat.
  4. For vegan soup / bisque: omit the cream altogether and replace it with additional vegetable broth for a tomato soup. For a bisque, try one of these dairy-free substitutes (I’m partial to plant-based heavy whipping cream like Silk brand, non-dairy milk + cornstarch, vegan cashew cream or white bean cream).
  5. Nutrition data does not include the optional ingredients.

Nutrition

Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 262mg | Potassium: 682mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 2611IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords.freezer-friendly, oven, stove top
Did You Make This Recipe?Be sure to share a comment below!

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2 Comments

    1. Great question, Pat! I haven’t made this recipe with frozen tomatoes, but I love the idea of it. I would say that it’s probably helpful for them to be thawed, but if you start from frozen, you may just need to increase the roasting time. Look for the visual cues: tomatoes shrink and look a little shriveled (concentrating those flavors). If the onions get deeper in color with the increased time, it’ll just make your bisque that much richer and sweeter. Let me know if you try it from frozen!