Soup of the Week–Tomato Bisque

Tomato-y Goodness

Dear Reader:

What is better than a bowl of hot, tomato soup on a snowy, winter day? When we forgo the canned stuff and make it from scratch, of course!

I made this tomato bisque last week, and it was so delicious! Now we are in the midst of a big ol’ snowstorm here in Maine, and I can’t stop thinking about making another large batch for tonight’s dinner.

If you would like to try this creamy, rich, thick, tomato-y soup for yourself, here is the recipe. It is a variation of a recipe I found in a book called FABULOUS SOUPS by Johna Blinn. I double the amount of tomatoes for a more sharp, distinct flavor which also happens to stretch the recipe AND makes it less calorie/fat dense. I also use chopped or grated onion instead of onion powder and add sea vegetable flakes in with the basil for added nutrients.

While the ideal would be to grow and jar our own tomatoes, canned tomatoes from your local market work almost as well. Also, if you know how to make your own beef bouillon from locally-grown beef, you could use that instead of processed bouillon cubes.

Add in the butter and milk from a local farm, and sea vegetables from Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, locally grown and dried basil, local honey instead of sugar, and you can have pretty close to a locavore meal!


4 (1 lb) jars/cans diced tomatoes
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 tbs. sugar
2 tsp. salt
one small to medium onion, chopped or grated
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried sea vegetable flakes (dulse works well)
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk (I like whole milk from the farm but calorie/fat conscious people could use skim)

1. Combine tomatoes with liquid in a large saucepan with bouillon cubes, sugar, salt, onion, basil, sea veggies, pepper and bay leaves. Simmer thirty minutes.

2. Remove bay leaves and put the mixture through a food mill or blender.

3. Melt butter; blend in flour until smooth.

4. Gradually stir in milk over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat.

5. Gradually blend in tomato mixture, stirring briskly. Return to heat, stir until hot. Serve.

For the ultimate cold-weather comfort meal, serve with melty grilled cheese sandwiches. (Reubens/Rachels with their hearty rye bread also go nicely with the soup. My friend,Sandy, uses one of those grill pans with the raised lines on the bottom to make her signature Rachels. As an added bonus, these sandwiches incorporate sauerkraut which is loaded with vitamin C to help beat back the winter colds and flu bugs.)

If you decide to make the soup, drop me a line Outside the Box to let me know how it turned out.

8 responses to “Soup of the Week–Tomato Bisque

  1. Had tomato and roasted red pepper soup today for lunch. Thanks again for the inspiration. Yum!

  2. I just made this and it’s fabulous! I couldn’t believe you’d already doubled the tomatoes — it’s really creamy. Although my cans of tomatoes weren’t quite a pound each, so that might have done it. Other than that, the only changes I made were leaving out the sea veggies (don’t have any) and black pepper instead of white. Cayenne would have given it just a little zing, too. I might try that next time. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    • Yay, Julie! I’m so glad you tried the soup! I know about the creamy factor. That’s why I doubled the tomatoes. I don’t know if maybe you could even add more. I do worry a little bit about the acidity. Acid makes dairy scream and clump together for safety, aka it curdles. It might be good with other additions, like the cayenne you mentioned. Cumin for a more south of the border flavor? Very happy you tried it. If you have a good soup recipe, you could almost “guest blog” here. I’m looking for different soup recipes every week.

  3. Sounds worth trying to finagle an invitation to lunch for! 🙂
    There was a tomato bisque soup they used to serve at Whole Foods in Portland when I’d meet a friend there once in a while for lunch and it was awesome! When they quit having it I was completely bummed. The closest I’ve ever managed to duplicate it was with canned tomato soup and adding basil and my own homemade ricotta (no butter or other milk). Bet it would be even better with yours (of course yours may be even yummier than the ricotta version).

  4. Made this again today. I’m sick, so added a few cloves of garlic and an entire onion. The onion was really pungent, the garlic not so much. Whatever. It hit the spot. And made me wonder how I ever survived without an immersion blender. Mmm, soup.

    Shelley, I just saw your response. I’d love to guest blog! Theoretically, anyway. I don’t have any brilliant ideas right now. But I’ll think on it, okay? Thanks again for this yummy recipe.

    • Julie, I’m so glad you like the recipe and have made it a couple of times. Garlic sounds like a good idea. When I’m sick I try to eat more garlic (and echinacea tea with zinc and vit C). Guest blog whenever the mood strikes. You know where to find me!

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