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Bowl of tomato bisque soup with crusty bread, fresh basil leaves, and Parmesan on top.

Tomato Bisque

This comforting, hearty, big-batch tomato bisque is full of nutrition and rich flavor. It will win over kids and adults alike! Freeze any leftovers for up to 3 months.

Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
Prep: 10 minutesCook: 30 minutesTotal: 40 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/22 cups diced carrots
  • 1 1/22 cups sliced celery stalks
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 tablespoons whole wheat flour* (sub: all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour)
  • 8 cups (2 quarts) low-sodium chicken stock or broth (or vegetarian broth)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, juices and all
  • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter (dairy-free sub: lactose-free ghee or vegan butter)
  • 3/41 cup half and half (dairy-free sub: plain almond milk)
  • Optional toppings: Hot sauce, homemade croutons, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, fresh julienned basil

*You can omit the flour. Just cook the soup without a lid a little longer so it reduces down and thickens up a little.

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Make It Now:

  1. Saute Aromatics: In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmery. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Then, add the red pepper flakes and season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally until the vegetables are just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic for 30-60 seconds more.
  2. Cook Flour: Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir for 1-2 minutes, or until flour is fully incorporated.
  3. Add More Ingredients: Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, stirring and scrapping the bottom of the pan for any browned bits (these add flavor).
  4. Cook Soup: Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover partially with the lid*. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until all the vegetables are very tender, stirring and scraping the bottom occasionally.
  5. Blend Soup: Remove from the heat. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot until fairly smooth. (Or, you can transfer the soup in batches to a large blender. Please be careful during this step! Don’t fill the blender full. Cover the lid with a towel and hold securely while blending so the lid doesn’t pop off. Carefully, return the puree to the pot.)
  6. Finish Off: Stir in the butter and half and half. Taste and then adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, or hot sauce to your preference.  
  7. Serve: Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with croutons, fresh shredded Parmesan cheese, and fresh basil, if desired.

Freeze For Later: Full cook and fully cool the soup. Freeze in a freezer container or bag (or in individual servings in mason jars, leaving at least 1 inch of head space) and seal well.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw in the refrigerator or using the defrost setting in the microwave. Warm over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.


  • Gluten-free version: You have two options: 1) Omit the flour. Then, cook the soup with the lid off, so it reduces more. You may choose to cook it 5 minutes longer, as well. 2) Use gluten-free all-purpose flour in place of the wheat flour. Also, use gluten-free croutons for the topping or omit that ingredient.
  • Dairy-free version: Use vegan butter or lactose-free ghee in place of the butter. Use plain almond or oat milk in place of the half and half. Omit Parmesan cheese as a topping. (Some readers use nutritional yeast in place of Parmesan cheese.)
  • I wrote this recipe for a crowd or for your family to have enough to freeze for later. If you want just enough for one family meal, just simply cut it in half.
  • Seasoning all along the way is key to deep flavor. Season with salt and pepper when you saute the veggies, season again when you add the liquids, and finally season at the end after tasting. But, don’t get too heavy-handed at the get-go!
  • We also loved the kicked-up addition of the hot sauce at the end. I just left it out of my kids’ bowls, since they are more sensitive to heat.
© Author: Rachel Tiemeyer
Cuisine: American Method: Stove Top