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Roasted Tomato Bisque

Roasted tomatoes, basil, thyme, garlic, onion and bay with a touch of cream.

The Sauce: Chicken Broth – Homemade chicken broth simmered with meaty chicken bones, vegetables, aromatics and herbs. Rich flavor you can’t get out of can, bottle, or box makes this bisque mouthwatering.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Interviewing paid off

My first really scrumptious bowl of Roasted Tomato Bisque was in Houston. For lunch half way through a day long job interview, my host took me to a small restaurant near the organization. As we opened our menus she encouraged, “You have to have their specialty, Tomato Bisque.” Then she seemed a little sheepish about promoting it saying, “do you even like tomatoes?”. “Everyone comes here for the bisque” she said glancing around the room. And I looked around, too. Half the people were sipping the bisque. No more convincing needed, I ordered the Tomato Bisque and it did not disappoint.
I noted the need to develop a luscious tomato soup. While researching, I found a recipe where the tomatoes are roasted but canned tomato soup is used to build the base. To me, this is counter intuitive. If you’re bothering to roast fresh tomatoes right off the vine, why use canned soup?

My children love tomato soup with grilled cheese. They can’t resist dipping the gooey, crispy sandwiches in this soup. Add cream and it’s an elegant bisque for entertaining. Either way, worth the roasting time.

You might also enjoy Gazpacho, Heirlooms and Eggs, Caprese Salad and Baja Pico de Gallo.

3 of 4 part series ”2013 National Soup Month”. Part 1 New England Clam Chowder, Part 2 Mexican Hat Black Bean Soup, and Part 4 French Onion Soup. More on Soup.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Soy Sauce Spareribs
2011 AniversaRecipe – Cinchy Chicken Fricassee

Recipe: Roasted Tomato Bisque

Prep Time: 7 Minutes | Cook Time: 68 Minutes | Yield: 8 Cups | Level: Easy


  • 3 lbs ripe tomatoes, quartered, about 10-11 medium
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup diced onion, about 1 small
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 10-12 fresh basil leaves sliced in ribbons, plus extra for garnish
  • 3 sprigs fresh thymebasil-and-thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • dash crushed red pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Special Equipment – baking sheet, large pot

1 Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2 Place the quartered tomatoes on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven at 425 degrees and roast for 40 minutes until they soften and caramelize.
3 Meanwhile, prep the onion, garlic and herbs. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large stock pot on medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 6-8 minutes until the onions just start to brown around the edges. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

4 Stir in the roasted tomatoes with all the juices, basil, thyme, bay leaves, crushed red pepper and chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
5 Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Puree the soup using an immersion blender, regular blender or even a food processor.








6 Add heavy cream and serve with a sprig of basil.

homemade-chicken-brothBest with garden tomatoes or heirlooms.

Add frozen homemade chicken stock directly into the pot.

The soup can be frozen before the heavy cream is added. Once defrosted heat and add 2 tablespoons of heavy cream per cup.

A good blender or food processor should blend the tomato skins. Remove the skins if desired by cutting a small ‘X’ in the bottom of each tomato. Place tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for about 30-60 seconds. Place in a bowl with ice water and the peel will slide off easily. Then proceed to quarter and roast.

For Roasted Tomato Soup, omit the heavy cream, garnish with croutons and a dust of grated parmesan cheese. Serve with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange fresh basil for 1 tablespoon of dried basil.
  • Exchange fresh thyme for 1 teaspoon of dried thyme.
  • Add more crushed red pepper for more heat.

Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: January 23, 2013

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One Response to Roasted Tomato Bisque

  1. Audrey January 24, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    I always get the Tomato Bisque at Noodles & Co. Partnered with their Mac and Cheese, it’s fabulous. I always wanted it with a little less salt, though. We finagled this recipe until it comes out just perfect for me. Hope you’ll like it, too.

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