Tomato Bisque – Creamy Tomato Soup Recipe

Bisque is a thick and flavorful soup of French origin made from ingredients that have been puréed to an absolutely creamy consistency. In the 16th century, bisque was the term originally used for soups made of game birds; but this was not highly esteemed by the gourmet chefs of the day. Resurrected in the 17th century, bisque contained finely crushed shells of whatever seafood was used. The crushed shells are used to thicken the soup. Dubbed as the seaman’s dish, it is said that the name pays homage to the Bay of Biscay. But, the name bisque is also from the French term “bis cuites” meaning, “twice cooked”. In modern cuisine, the term bisque is used to describe any cream soup, whether shellfish is present or not.

This vegetarian bisque uses canned tomatoes slowly cooked in broth, then thickened with rice. This dish is best served with a toasted cheese sandwich on the side.


This recipe takes about 45 minutes to make. Serves 6.

• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 cup of diced onion
• ½ cup of diced celery
• 3 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1 qt chicken broth
• 28 oz can crushed San Marzano tomatoes, or 3 ½ cups of other crushed tomatoes
• ½ tsp paprika
• 3 tbsp white long grain rice
• ½ cup of heavy cream
• 1 to 2 tsp sugar, or to taste
• salt
• ½ tsp ground pepper
• ¼ tsp cayenne powder
• chopped basil


In a pot over medium heat, drizzle olive oil.
Sauté onions and celery.
Add a pinch of salt to bring out the liquid from the vegetables.
Sauté for 5 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
Pour in stock and stir.
Add canned tomatoes.
Bring the heat up to high and once it simmers, season with salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne powder, and sugar.
Stir in rice and continue simmering over low heat for about 30 to 35 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until you get an absolutely smooth texture. The soup will turn from red to bright orange.
Whisk in cream and adjust seasoning according to your preference.
Turn off heat.
Ladle soup into warm bowls.
Garnish with cream and chopped fresh basil on top.

Ideas And Tips:

• Fresh vine-ripened tomatoes can also be used. Peel, deseed, and cook them down in enough water before adding to the soup.

• An immersion blender is a hand-held kitchen tool used to blend ingredients or purée food in the same container they are being prepared. Its body is generally made from plastic with stainless steel blades at the base. It is commonly used to make well-blended and puréed soups, beverages, sauces, and home-made puréed baby food. It is also called stick blender, wand blender or hand blender. If you do not have an immersion blender, you may use a counter blender or food processor to puree the soup.

• Warm bowls hold the heat of the soup longer. Since you’ll eat soup slower, it will give you the true flavor of your soup longer. You may warm your bowls by simply placing them at the back of the stove while cooking the soup or in the oven, warming drawer, microwave or simply using hot water.

Tomato Bisque - Creamy Tomato Soup Recipe
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