Sweet Tomato Basil Bisque

by Dorothy Reinhold on January 2, 2012

Print This Post Print This Post Sweet Tomato Basil Bisque

It’s the dead of winter, but I am craving tomatoes. I have a full-on tomato jones going.

Best way to fix that is with this tomato soup, made more fanciful by calling it bisque. A bisque (say it bisk) is a rich, smooth, creamy soup often made with shellfish, and thickened with said shellfish including the pulverized shells. Well, this one is rich, creamy, and has a roux to thicken it, but is sans shellfish.

That’s OK. It’s plenty flavorful without them. (Although now that we’re thinking about it, it wouldn’t kill you to strew a few shrimp on top if you want to.)

This is far more than simply the sum of its parts. It’s truly shockingly delicious, in all the right ways.

Recipe: Sweet Tomato Basil Bisque

Summary: Rich, packed with tomato goodness and just the right touch of creamy sweetness, this is tomato soup of the Gods.


  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion (about 12 ounces), peeled and finely chopped
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled crushed tomatoes
  • 3 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 cups low-fat, low-salt chicken stock
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half or cream (or a mixture of both)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Garnish: finely chopped fresh basil


  1. In large soup pot, melt butter. Over medium heat, sauté onions in butter, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Onions should be translucent but not brown. Add flour and stir; it will look a bit pasty. Cook and stir for a minute or two until the paste (called a roux), begins to brown slightly.
  2. Add tomatoes, dill, oregano and stock. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add honey, cream and parsley and return to a boil. Taste, add salt and pepper to season, and serve.
  3. Garnish with a shower of chopped basil if you like.
  4. Makes about 13 cups. Serves 6-8, depending on appetites.
  5. Store in refrigerator. Leftovers are even better the next day. And the following day.

Quick notes

Source: Thanks to high school friend Andy Alexis for the inspiration for this recipe.


You can easily make this vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6-8, depending on appetites
Culinary tradition: USA (General)
My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)


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