This Tomato Bisque Soup is not only the richest, creamiest tomato soup you’ve ever tried, but a surprise splash of fresh squeezed orange juice gives it a bit of extra flavor and tang too. It’ll be on your table in under 30 minutes!
I recently discovered my new favorite soup – In a quest to find something quick to grab for lunch, I stopped in at Elephant’s Deli in downtown Portland, and picked up a bowl of their Tomato Orange Soup. The entire walk back to the office, I was treated to the aroma of this amazing, warm bowl in my hands – The sweetness of fresh tomatoes, with a tinge of bright citrus. I couldn’t wait to dig into it!
That first spoonful was better than I had dreamed of. It was the creamiest, most silky, tomato soup I had ever had. And then the magic happened – That bit of orange hit the back of my tongue when I swallowed, leaving behind its flavor that wasn’t to be forgotten. And then I inhaled the entire bowl while I dreamed of recreating this recipe at home.
It actually wasn’t difficult to do at all since Elephant’s Deli was kind enough to post the recipe on their website. One ingredient that I found a bit odd in their recipe was the addition of baking soda… I started digging around on good old google and found some interesting information – baking soda can help counteract the acidity of tomatoes. Not only that, but it also lessens the risk of your cream curdling when you add it to the pot. #YouLearnSomethingNewEveryDay
I made their Tomato Orange Soup recipe a couple times, exactly as written, and then I decided to tweak it just a tiny bit to fit my personal taste preferences.
I started playing around with the tomato-to-orange ratio a bit. I didn’t want the orange to be too overpowering, but I definitely wanted to know it was there. I found the right balance with about 1 1/4 cups of orange juice. Word of warning, that’s a lot of oranges. I think it took me about 6 oranges to get all that juice. Note – You can also use fresh squeezed bottled orange juice in this recipe. Just be sure that it’s really good quality OJ.
I modified the original recipe further by lessening the amount of thyme. I found it to be just a bit overpowering, and cut the amount in half. I also left my soup a bit more chunky than the original version by using an immersion blender and processing until it was just the right texture that I was looking for… To finish things off, I topped my bowls with a few sprigs of fresh basil. It gave a great aroma and looked pretty… If you don’t have fresh basil on hand, feel free to add in about 1/4 teaspoon of dried basil to your soup when you add the dried thyme.
I would essentially call this soup a Tomato Bisque.
What is the Difference Between Tomato Soup and Tomato Bisque?
The traditional usage of the term bisque means a soup that is made with shellfish stock. But in more modern times, the word bisque has been used to define any soup that is made with heavy cream.
How Do You Make Tomato Bisque?
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add canned tomatoes and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Using a blender or immersion blender, process until smooth.
Slowly stir in heavy cream & orange juice. Season.
I couldn’t have been happier with the way this soup (or bisque) turned out. I’ll be eating it in regular rotation this winter. So, I may even double the recipe and freeze it too…
If you loved this Tomato Bisque Soup I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
30-Minute Tomato Bisque Soup
This Tomato Bisque Soup is the richest, creamiest tomato soup you've ever tried, with a splash of fresh orange juice for a bit of extra tang! Inspired by Elephant's Deli in Portland, Oregon.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add tomatoes and their juice, salt, pepper, baking soda and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Using an immersion blender, process until smooth. Alternatively, transfer contents to a blender and process until smooth.
With soup over low heat, slowly stir in orange juice and heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Although fresh squeezed orange juice is preferred in this recipe, a high-quality bottled orange juice will work as well.
Wine Pairings for Tomato Bisque Soup:
- A light-red wine works well with this creamy soup. Try a Grenache, Gamay or Barbera d’Alba.
- For a white wine option, try a Viognier – Its viscosity and lush flavors stand up well to this rich soup.
Note: This recipe was originally posted in January 2016. It was updated in September 2017 to revise the photographs and content. The recipe remains the same. Enjoy!