One of the great joys in life is a delicious, rich bowl of Tomato Bisque. Now I’m not talking about the canned variety of tomato soup that we all grew up on. I’m talking about a silky-smooth tomato bisque that will have you moaning with every spoonful.
I do have to warn you, that once your friends and family taste this bisque there’s no turning back to the canned variety of tomato soup. But the good news is, my Tomato Bisque is easy to make and freezes well, so you can make up a big batch!
Make a few grilled cheese sandwiches to go along with the bisque and you’ll have the perfect comfort food.
What do I need to Make Tomato Bisque?
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make our Tomato Bisque. In chef speak we call that the Mise en Place, or everything in its place.
This is a good practice to get into whenever you cook. Not only does it speed up the process but it ensures you have everything you need to make the dish.
Soups are really easy to make with almost no rules or essential ingredients. In the old days, soups were made out of scraps and foods we wanted to make of use of before they went bad. I think this is were the true kitchen artisans showed their skills making nothing into something delicious.
The problem we run into these days is making something out of what’s on hand is having everyone loving it so much that they want you to make it again. That my friends is why we have recipes.
How to make tomato bisque soup
The first step in creating my Tomato Bisque is how I start most cream soups. I start with butter, chopped onions and celery (and sometimes carrots or peppers). After sauteing the onions and celery for about 5 minutes, I then add the flour to make a roux.
I use my favorite 6 qt. Copper Core 5-ply All-Clad pot for this soup. It’s classified as a roaster and is a great pan for use in your kitchen!
A roux (pronounced ROO) is an important part of many soups and sauces. In this soup, the roux is used as a thickener and a way to make the soup smooth and velvety. A roux helps with consistency and texture and can turn a lackluster dish into a culinary masterpiece.
This is my recommended wire whisk if you need one for your kitchen.
Adding hot stock to the roux creates a Veloute. This alone could be called a poor man’s cream soup. The addition of cream or milk adds body to the soup making a hybrid type of bechamel sauce which is how I like to make my cream soups.
There is actually very little cream or milk in most of my creamed soups. The cream changes the texture, color and mouthfeel. But using too much can detract from the overall flavor and mouthfeel, so don’t overdo the cream!
After the stock has been fully incorporated into the roux you can add the other ingredients to the veloute.
Chef Dennis Tip:
Use a rubber spatula to make sure you get in all the corners of the pot to release any roux that may be stuck in the pan.
Once the veloute is ready, add in the tomatoes and seasonings. Mix well and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Using an immersion blender or a traditional blender puree the soup until smooth.
I absolutely love my Waring Professional Immersion Blender. I have had two less powerful household units that both burned out. This professional immersion blender has been going strong for 5 years already and shows no signs of slowing up.
When you take into account how much I spent on the two that broke down this immersion blender is not really that expensive, and its a kitchen tool you’ll come to depend on.
The next step is straining the bits and pieces of celery, onions and tomato out of the soup so it’s smooth and creamy. There really wasn’t much left after the immersion blender did its thing.
The last step in creating this ah-mazingly delicious Tomato Bisque is adding the cream and the cheese.
What you end up with is an incredibly flavorful Tomato Bisque. Its rich flavor and velvety smooth texture will make a tomato soup lover out of anyone. And trust me you’ll never reach for that red and white can again!
No, you don’t. If you don’t mind a few chunks in the soup it’s perfectly acceptable not to strain the bisque.
No, you don’t. I like the way it mellows out the tomato flavor and the added cheese flavor is always a good thing.
Tomato soup is usually made with either vegetable or chicken stock. Tomato bisque is made by adding cream or whole milk. The dairy is what makes it thicker and creamier which gives it the defining traits of a bisque.
Croutons, fresh herbs, dried basil, toasted nuts, sour cream, poached egg or additional shredded cheese all can be used to enhance the flavor of the bisque.