How to Make Tomato Bisque Recipe -
How to Make Tomato Bisque Recipe
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How to Make Tomato Bisque
Watch Chef John make tomato soup’s richer, silkier cousin. See more
  • READY IN 1 hr

How to Make Tomato Bisque

Recipe by  

"You don't need a whole basket of vine-ripened tomatoes to make a delicious tomato bisque. We're going to use canned tomatoes. Rice makes this soup silky, not starchy."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    50 mins

    1 hr


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat; cook and stir onion and celery with a pinch of salt until onion is translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Pour chicken broth and tomatoes into onion mixture. Bring to a simmer and season with paprika, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Turn heat to low and stir rice into soup; skim foam occasionally and simmer until rice and vegetables are very tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Add sugar.
  3. Blend soup with an immersion blender in the pot until smooth. Whisk 1/2 cup cream into soup and adjust levels of salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and sugar. If soup is too thick, add more broth; if soup is too thin, cook, stirring often, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Ladle into warmed bowls; garnish each bowl with a drizzle of cream and top with about 1 teaspoon chopped basil.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 31, 2013

I really enjoyed this soup. Nice texture and good flavor. I didn't have fresh basil, so I added some dried basil and let it simmer with everything else. Also, I used 2% milk instead of cream and was very happy with the results. Thanks Chef John!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 07, 2013

Really had to "skinny" this down. I used lots of carrots which naturally sweetens then put it thru a food mill. I also use fat free half and half when ever I can instead of heavy cream. Didn't add the rice as the carrots help to give it a thicker consistency. I add very little garlic.

Nov 10, 2013

This soup recipe is a keeper! The rice made it beautifully silky and gave it a great mouth-feel. Tasted better the next day. I used a leek from our local farmer's market in leu of onion. I didn't find either the garlic or leek taste overwhelming in the least. Just tomato front and center!

Nov 05, 2013

I've tried this twice now and I hate to say anything bad about a Chef John recipe, but the garlic, onion, flavor is much too overpowering and I love both. The second time I cut it back and it was still overpowering. I still have a recipe box full of Chef John recipes, this one just wasn't for us.

Oct 21, 2013

Apsolutely delicious!

Nov 14, 2013

Delious!! I however did make one change and added sweet potatoes for a thicker more filling consistency. Other than that great recipe!!

Apr 03, 2015

I have made this several times.... I added a bit of vinegar at the end and it was even better! Rounded out the flavors beautifully!

Jan 16, 2015

This is a meal in itself. I've made it two or three times. It can be thicker, like a stew, or thinner, as in a bisque. I had no celery, so each time I used chopped leeks, green and white parts. I added minced carrots once. I'm going to try adding white corn just at the end (to avoid overcooking, which toughens corn) next. Twice I used the heavy cream called for, and once I used the standard substitution of 3/4 cup milk, and 1/3 cup of butter, divided in half for 1/2 cup of cream. (Don't worry - you'll be making this soup again very soon, and use up the remaining 1/2 cup of "cream"!)Once I used Arborio rice, which is what's used for thick and creamy risotto, which was perfect for this recipe. A bit of cooked chorizo sausage on top might be tasty when serving, or Greek yogurt or sour cream or a sprinkling of feta cheese - you get the idea, this is incredibly versatile! Stick to the exact recipe for a straight, wonderful bisque, or go crazy with additions! And, you'll probably have all the ingredients in your pantry already, another plus. Keeper!


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  • Calories
  • 198 kcal
  • 10%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 20 g
  • 6%
  • Cholesterol
  • 38 mg
  • 13%
  • Fat
  • 12.3 g
  • 19%
  • Fiber
  • 3.3 g
  • 13%
  • Protein
  • 4.3 g
  • 9%
  • Sodium
  • 906 mg
  • 36%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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