If anything says comfort food, it's soup. We all have our favorites, don't we? Mine? Creamy tomato basil bisque!
Soup vs. Bisque
Okay, before I go on, I just want to explain the difference between soup and bisque. What is bisque? Bisque is basically a rich creamy soup. Creamy you say? I am all over that one! It goes amazingly well with a grilled cheese sandwich. Memories of childhood!!! But, this is not the soup of my childhood. It's a new and improved version. Very much improved!
Until recently, a creamy tomato bisque was one of those things I would pick up at my university's cafeteria when I had little or no time for lunch. Then a couple of months ago my son, the aspiring chef, brought home some from the country club where he works. It was comfort food in a Styrofoam container. He said he had seen the chef make it and that it was not too difficult. "We can do this at home", mom, he said. So, I thought, how hard can it be to replicate a recipe for tomato bisque? Just a handful of ingredients, right? You bet!
Tomato bisque is perfect for a quick weeknight meal or packed lunch. I used a quality canned tomatoes. In the dead of winter, using canned tomatoes is not a bad idea. All you need to make this creamy tomato bisque are a few ingredients. If at all possible, use fresh basil, it makes all the difference in the world. I've been enjoying this soup for the past couple of days at work with a little sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and a piece of crusty bread. Yesterday I forgot the bread in my rush to run out the door. Oh, no what to do? I went to my friend's office, she always has crackers! It was still good.
Tomatoes originated in the new world. Explorers took them back to Europe where at first no one knew what to make of the tomato or how to use it. Because of its bright beautiful color, they were often used as ornamental plants. In America the early colonists would not use tomatoes thinking them to be poisonous. We've come a long way since!
Step by step photos:
- Gather all the ingredients and have them measured, chopped and ready to go.
- In a soup pot or Dutch oven on medium heat add the olive oil and butter. Sauté the celery, carrots and onions. Stir frequently until the onions are translucent. Add the salt and pepper.
- Add the tomatoes and stir to combine.
- Pour in the vegetable broth.
- Add basil that has been cut into strips. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Next add the cayenne and allspice.
- Using an immersion blender, crush all the ingredients until smooth.
- Stir in the half and half and cook for another 10 minutes uncovered.
Frequently asked questions:
- How long can I save this soup? You can store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- Can I freeze this soup? No, since this soup contains dairy and it is best not to freeze because it will separate and will have a very grainy texture when thawed.
Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque Recipe
Here is an easy from scratch recipe for creamy tomato basil bisque. If anything says comfort food, it’s soup. We all have our favorites, don’t we? Mine? Creamy tomato basil bisque!
In a soup pot or Dutch oven place olive oil and butter. Sauté the celery, carrots and onions until translucent.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, and basil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the allspice and cayenne.
- Using an immersion blender, carefully crush all the ingredients. Stir in the half and half and cook for an additional 10 minutes uncovered.
Originally published March 2016 and updated September 2020.