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Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Bisque

I love having a giant batch of soup on hand in the winter. It’s nostalgia that has me stocking our freezer for a New England blizzard rather than the mild rain and occasional snow customary in North Carolina.

This Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Bisque is a family favorite we keep on hand during the holidays. We pull it out when family stop in for lunch and it is must have when we go to the mountains in the winter. We transport it frozen and heat it up for lunches. It really hits the spot after a morning of skiing or building snow men!

I keep this soup in the freezer to pair with skillet focaccia or grown up grilled cheese with cheddar, gruyere, gouda, bacon and sliced tomatoes. This roasted tomato bisque is as warm and comforting as a favorite sweatshirt or worn in leggings at the end of a long day.

roasted red pepper and tomato bisque

Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Bisque features pan roasted tomatoes, red peppers, and garlic added to a classic soup base. The soup base is a mirepoix of shallots, carrots, celery, chicken broth and crushed tomatoes. Everything gets cooked down and pureed with a splash of cream giving this soup a rich velvety texture.

Ingredients in Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Bisque

Fresh Tomatoes: fresh tomatoes get roasted with bell peppers, garlic, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar which gives the soup an amazing depth of flavor.

Red Bell pepper: roasted bell peppers give a hint of sweetness to cut the acidity of the tomatoes and more complexity to the bisque.

Mirepoix: the classic soup base of shallot, carrots, celery, and garlic creates an aromatic flavor base to build the bisque on.

Basil: fresh basil

Bay: an aromatic that helps keep the dish from being too heavy.

Crushed tomatoes: you can use all fresh or all canned crushed tomatoes but for this bisque recipe we love using a little go both!

Stock: chicken or vegetable stock add flavor while providing the needed liquid.

Balsamic vinegar: adds tang and a subtle sweetness to the soup which you need against all the acid from the tomatoes

Cream: cream is key to getting the creamy velvety texture of a tomato bisque. If you don’t use full fat cream make sure you add 1/2 tsp of basking soda to the tomato soup just before you add your milk or temper the milk before adding to prevent curdling.

roast red pepper and tomato bisque ingredients

How to make Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Bisque

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet. Toss the cut tomatoes, bell peppers, and garlic cloves with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, salt ,and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes or until lightly roasted.

While the tomatoes roast heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the shallots, carrots, celery and garlic until soft and fragrant.

Stir in the roasted vegetables and juices from the pan, broth, vinegar, bay, and basil leaves. Simmer for at least 20 minutes.

Let cool slightly and pour the soup into a blender, working in batches if necessary. Blend until smooth. Add the the rest of the fresh basil and the cream pulse until combined.

Return the bisque to the pot and serve with parmesan, pesto, and your favorite crusty bread!

What is the difference between bisque and soup?

Tomato soup is much thinner than bisque because it is made with all stock. Tomato bisque uses less liquid and is finished with ****cream creating a classic velvety bisque texture.

What are the best things to dip in tomato soup?

Classic grilled cheese

Pesto turkey havarti grilled cheese

Havarti and bacon grilled cheese

Skillet focaccia bread

skillet focaccia

How do you prevent tomato bisque from curdling?

When you use cream the fat should prevent the cream from curdling as long as the soup isn’t boiling when you add it. If you are making a bisque with an alternative such as half and half or other dairy free alternatives you should add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the tomato soup just before you add your milk. This will bring the acid level down and prevent curdling.

Can you reheat soup with cream in it?

Yes! Reheat soup with cream in it such as this Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Bisque over low heat stirring regularly to prevent curdling.

Tomato Bisque with focaccia
Yield: 8 Servings

Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Bisque

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Pan roasted tomatoes, red peppers, and garlic added to a mirepoix of shallots, carrots, celery, chicken broth, crushed tomatoes and blended with heavy cream.


For Roasting

  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cut into large chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 large basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Soup Base

  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 small shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teapoon rosemary
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 - 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 400 ℉. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl toss quartered tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic and basil leaves with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. Add salt and pepper, mix until everything is evenly coated.
  3. Pour the mixture onto your prepared baking sheet and roast in the bottom half of the oven for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and caramelized.
  4. In a dutch oven over medium high heat sauté carrots, celery, and shallots until the shallots are soft and fragrant. Add thyme, rosemary, and the bay leaf to the dutch oven.
  5. Slowly stir in the chicken stock and crushed tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer for thirty minutes.
  6. Once the vegetables are done roasting add them and any liquids on the pan to the dutch oven. Cover and continue simmering until the carrots and celery are soft.
  7. Blend the soup in batches in a blender or using an immersion blender. Once smooth add the rest of your fresh basil and cream and pulse until incorporated.
  8. Once blended return to the stove until ready to serve. (We like about 1/2 cup but some people prefer a creamier bisque so add it in increments until the soup seems right to you.)
  9. Serve warm with parmesan cheese and extra pepper.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 184Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 4gSugar: 11gProtein: 5g

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Nicole Johnson

Thursday 18th of November 2021

DROOOOOL. This looks incredible!

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