Creamy tomato basil bisque is a decadent soup bursting with bold tomato flavor and, of course, plenty of fresh basil. This delicious creamy soup is perfect when you are craving a taste of summer.
Not only is this simple soup a family favorite, but it is also quick and easy to prepare with simple ingredients. Most of the prep work is spent opening up a few canned goods and chopping fresh basil. That doesn't sound too hard, does it?
What is it?
Tomato basil bisque is a thick and creamy soup fortified with heavy cream and butter, which creates a more luxurious mouthfeel than thinner soup broth alone. Tomatoes and fresh basil are primarily responsible for the fresh flavor of this rich soup.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Canned crushed tomatoes - I recommend using canned tomatoes rather than any tomatoes purchased at grocery stores. Those tomatoes are typically picked green, preventing full flavor development. However, for the best flavor, you can substitute garden fresh tomatoes that have been picked ripe.
- Chicken broth or Chicken Stock - Vegetable stock and vegetable broth can be substituted.
- White sugar - This can be left out if desired, but I recommend keeping it for a more balanced flavor. Brown sugar can be substituted for a deeper flavor.
- Crushed red pepper flakes - Leave these out if you don't want any heat.
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh basil leaves - It is important to use fresh basil.
- Heavy whipping cream - Half and half can be substituted, or you can use milk in a pinch. Even cream cheese could be melted into the soup.
- Butter - You can also use a combination of butter and extra virgin olive oil.
- Optional - Fresh garlic cloves or roasted garlic can be added to the soup.
How to make it
This homemade tomato basil bisque recipe is a very easy soup to make. The tomatoes, chicken broth, sugar, salt, and crushed red peppers need to be simmered in a large pot over medium heat for ten minutes.
Then reduce the heat to low and add the heavy cream, butter, and fresh basil. Just be careful not to boil the soup with the cream added because you don't want to risk it curdling. The soup is ready to serve once the butter has melted into the bisque.
Tip: If you like a smooth pureed soup you can puree the tomatoes with a immersion blender (a regular blender can be used, just be careful of splashing hot liquids) for a smoother mouthfeel. However, I enjoy the added texture of the crushed tomato pieces.
Optional garnishes for tomato basil bisque include Parmesan cheese, feta, croutons, and black pepper.
How to serve it
Any tomato basil bisque is infinitely better with something to dunk into it. A simple loaf of crusty bread, like a French baguette, would do the trick, but a gourmet sandwich would be even better. My recommendation would be my gourmet grilled cheese sandwich with bacon. However, my turkey melt sandwich and roasted pork sandwich pairs nicely too.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Leftover tomato basil bisque can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for five days, for the best flavor. Gently reheat the leftovers in a saucepan, or in the microwave until warmed through.
Tomato Basil Bisque
- Soup pot
- 56 ounces canned crushed tomatoes (fresh tomatoes can be used, see note below)
- 14.5 ounces chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon kosher Salt
- 18 leaves fresh basil (minced)
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Bring the chicken broth, tomatoes, sugar, red pepper flakes, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan or soup pot.
- Cover the pot and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Set heat to low and add the fresh basil, whipping cream, and butter. Cook until the butter is melted, do not boil.
- Serve and enjoy.
This recipe was originally published on FoxValleyFoodie.com October 8, 2015.
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