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Tomato Bisque From Scratch Recipe

Recipe | Tomato Bisque From Scratch

Recipe | Tomato Bisque From Scratch

A rich tomato bisque can be one of the most satisfying and comforting dishes, especially on a cool day when the warmth is that much more precious. Making it at home is an extra fresh and flavorful way to enjoy your garden-picked tomatoes, but most recipes you'll find call for store-bought tomato pastes. Tomato pastes are a bit of a shortcut for thickening up and concentrating a tomato bisque, but canned pastes just won't deliver the same freshness as a freshly picked tomato.

The good news: you can ditch the cans. By  roasting and simmering your tomatoes, you can achieve all of the richness and flavor without reaching for the can. 

Soup Vs. Bisque

Before we go further, it's worth giving a quick background on the difference between soup and bisque. There is a difference, but if you're not clear on what that difference is, don't be embarrassed, the lines are admittedly kind of blurry.

Tomato Soup is a liquid food, typically served warm/hot, made from tomatoes, other vegetables and water or stock. Simple.

Tomato Bisque is a creamy, highly seasoned tomato soup, traditionally made with crustacean broth (called coulis in French). Bisque also typically includes the addition of heavy cream as well. In modern usage, "bisque" is used a lot more broadly to essentially mean any creamy, pureed soup. A modern bisque doesn't necessarily include crustacean broth or even cream, the term "bisque" refers mostly to the creamy texture and rich seasoning.

So, when you add it all up, bisque is technically just a type of soup! We're calling this recipe a bisque because it's pureed, includes cream, and has that rich and flavorful seasoning that speaks to it's French origins. 

The Recipe
Serves 4 | 15 Minutes Prep | 75 Minute Cook

This tomato bisque recipe is simple and most of the time you'll spend on it is passive, allowing your oven to do most of the work. The main elements to this dish are the roasted tomatoes and the caramelized onions, which are pureed and brought together in a large pot with seasoning and a touch of cream. The result is a rich, creamy tomato bisque with a natural sweetness and balanced acidity. It's the kind of dish that's simple enough to serve as a side, or with a grilled cheese sandwich, but you'll also find that this bisque is full-bodied enough to stand alone as a meal all to itself. 

Scale up or down the recipe with ease (in case you want to give yourself a longer lasting supply). This is also the kind of dish that will hold up well to freezing. So, if your harvest was especially robust this year, you can set yourself up for some warm meals on cold Fall and Winter days, without letting any of your garden produce go to waste.


2 lbs roma or plum tomatoes
(Approximately 10 roma tomatoes or 18 plum tomatoes)
4 cloves garlic (peeled)
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 Large yellow onion
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 pinch cayenne pepper

Optional Garnishes: Parmesan cheese, sour cream, pine nuts, chives

TIP: Slightly overripe is the ideal condition for making tomato soups and sauces. They'll be a touch sweeter and the flesh will break down more easily to create a smooth texture.


Baking sheet
Parchment paper
Large pot
Food processor, blender or immersion blender

1. Roast

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Place halved tomatoes and chopped garlic on the baking sheet with 3 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne and oregano. 

Roast in the oven for 45 minutes.

2. Caramelize

While the tomatoes and garlic roast, the onions will get another treatment. 

Add 1/2 tbsp olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. 

Add sliced onions and stir occasionally for 15 minutes, or until the onions are fully caramelized and appear golden. 

3. Blend

After the tomatoes are roasted and the onions are caramelized, let the ingredients cool for 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes and garlic to blender and blend until smooth. 

Add caramelized onions and basil and blend again. 

4. Simmer

Transfer the blended mixture back to the large pot. 

Add oregano and simmer on medium low heat for 10 minutes.

In the final minute of simmering, add in heavy cream, just long enough to incorporate it, but avoiding burning.

5. Garnish and Serve

Once the mixture has cooled to a palatable temperature, you can pour into serving bowls and garnish with basil leaves.

You may also garnish with grated Parmesan cheese, a dollop of sour cream, chopped chives, a drizzle of olive oil, or even toasted pine nuts. 

Serve and enjoy!

Shop The Recipe

Want to go garden to table? You can grow these ingredients from scratch.

Tomato Roma VF Seed



Onion Sweet Spanish Yellow Utah Jumbo Seed



Basil Genovese Seed



Oregano Seed



Pepper Long Thin Cayenne Seed


Chives Garlic Seed



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