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Chunky Tomato-Basil Bisque

My husband, Patrick Maas, makes this wonderful, creamy bisque. Sweet red pepper enhances the lovely tomato-basil flavor. —Veronique Deblois, Mine Hill, New Jersey
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 50 min.
  • Makes
    5 servings


  • 6 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream


  • In a large saucepan, saute the celery, onion and red pepper in butter for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat. Stir in the basil, sugar, salt and pepper; cool slightly. Transfer half of the soup mixture to a blender. While processing, gradually add cream; process until pureed. Return to the pan; heat through (do not boil).
Nutrition Facts
1-1/3 cups: 383 calories, 36g fat (22g saturated fat), 122mg cholesterol, 1214mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 4g fiber), 3g protein.

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  • bpmckey
    Oct 4, 2020

    No comment left

  • Jessica
    Feb 21, 2020

    This is a pretty good soup. The only thing I may add, is the overall base that this soup is made with. Personally, this one calls for a little more celery than necessary. However, it’s a great foundation. Instead of using 6 celery stocks, I used 4 large ones and then 2 large carrots. I chopped the carrots very fine, and sautéed them first, then adding the celery about 5 minutes in. Then adding the onion, then the bell pepper and then I added about 3/4 tablespoon of fresh garlic. I also added pepper, a little onion powder, a small pinch of oregano and even a little pinch of dry basil. I added a 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flake, and then added salt at the end to taste. When I sautéed all the veggies in butter, and they all came to tenderness around 12 min, I added about 3-4 oz of chicken broth. I brought this to a boil then reduced it down and began adding my tomatoes. Personally, blanching fresh tomatoes would be all the better however for time constraints, diced canned is fine too. I cooked this on medium for about 30 minutes. I added two tablespoons of sugar and added 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. I used a total of 8 oz of heavy cream and still blended it in batches at the end. I stirred in finely chopped fresh basil at the end and used about 3/4-1 cup as the recipe calls for. Overall this is a great soup. But the carrot adds a little more texture to it, and also gives a stronger background that competes with the celery adding a well balanced foundation. The sugar helps to reduce the acidity and compliments the basil as well. Noting, I used Lankanto monk fruit sweetener as it’s a healthier sub and tastes the same as actual sugar. The best way to make this, is ensuring your celery and carrot are finely finely chopped. Or, if you’re heavy chopping, to ensure a proper smooth purée at the end. I recommend doing this particular recipe for its size, in about 4-5 small batches. It gives a smoother taste and holds the flavor. The leftovers are always the best. This soup pairs well with a nice artisan bread or rosemary olive oil bread. It also pairs excellent with a classic old fashioned grilled cheese on sourdough.

  • Maximus
    Jun 18, 2019

    I recently made this and it was a winner. While I used 4 celery stalks, they were long and this probably as close to the 6 in the recipe. The one complaint that I heard was in regards to the celery chunks. As I’m reluctant to diminish the ingredients due to the impact on taste to the soup itself, the easy solution is to do one or both of the following: 1) dice celery to small pieces (sliced down middle of stalk and sliced further) rather than simple slices. This allows the flavors, retains the chunky nature of the soup but takes the celery chunks to a more anonymous nature for those celery-averse eaters; 2) sauté the celery separately and put most if not all into the mixture for purée ; 3) do a combo of 1

  • Shari
    Jan 4, 2018

    This soup is so delicious it takes some prep work but it’s well worth it, made meatballs and a salad to go with the soup delicious meal

  • antiemirandy
    Jan 10, 2015

    delicious. I did like the celery but left out the onion, red pepper and basil.

  • wasoongu
    Sep 10, 2014

    The celery in this soup was a mistake. I reduced it to 4 stalks, but it was still overpowering. I recommend leaving it out entirely or trying another recipe. TOH's "Tomato Basil Soup Recipe" is great.

  • BFoley36
    Sep 4, 2014

    I have made tomato bisques before. This one topped the charts. Perfectly seasoned and well balanced in texture. 100 thumbs up to the recipe creator. The only thing I may have changed would be to add another half a cup if fresh basil. I will be enjoying this soup with homemade Croque Monsieurs!!!

  • katlaydee3
    Jul 27, 2014

    This is a delicious recipe!! Tastes like the tomato basil bisque at one of my favorite restaurants.

  • kalygirl
    Nov 9, 2013


  • Tom Brezzy
    Sep 27, 2013

    Rave reviews from both wife and daughter. This is our favorite tomato soup recipe! Outstanding