30-Minute Tomato Bisque Soup Recipe + VIDEO

This Tomato Bisque recipe is not only the richest, creamiest tomato soup you’ve ever tried, but it’ll be on your table in under 30 minutes! It’s the perfect comfort food for chilly days.

I recently discovered my new favorite soup recipe.

 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 creamy tomato 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 of creamy tomato bisque with a few sprigs of fresh basil. It gave a great aroma and looked pretty. But, 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.

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, like lobster bisque. But in more modern times, the word bisque has been used to define any soup that is made with the use of heavy cream.

Bowl of tomato bisque next to bread.

How do you make homemade tomato bisque?

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over moderate 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.
  2. Using a blender, food processor or immersion blender, blend soup until smooth.
  3. Slowly stir in heavy whipping cream & orange juice. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.

I couldn’t have been happier with the way this tomato soup (or bisque soup) turned out. It’s got a rich tomato flavor and has quickly become a family favorite. We’ll be eating it in regular rotation this winter. So, I may even double the recipe and freeze it too…

To Freeze: Simply place it in an airtight container. It will keep for up to 3 months.

Tip: Want to make a vegan tomato bisque? Simply substitute the heavy cream for coconut milk.

How to serve it:

  • Alongside some crusty bread.
  • Topped with crunchy croutons.
  • Paired with a grilled cheese sandwich.
  • With a green salad.

Bowl of tomato bisque next to bread. More soup recipes:

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.

If you loved this Tomato Bisque recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it 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.

Tomato Bisque Soup Recipe

Tomato Orange Soup is the creamiest tomato soup recipe you will find. Plus, it's got a great tang for the orange juice. It's the perfect winter soup for chilly days.

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.
3.74 from 50 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh basil (to garnish)


  • 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.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 696mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g

Note: This Tomato Bisque 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!


45 thoughts on “30-Minute Tomato Bisque Soup Recipe + VIDEO”

    • Thanks Marlynn – The color was really quite vibrant, but it drove me a bit crazy editing the photos because it seemed to change color from different angles. Good luck!

  1. This sounds amazing and inspires me to get a blender. We have a nutri bullet, but it’s a bit small for blending soups…and I love these creamy kinds. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. This soup looks absolutely incredible! I never would have thought to put tomato & orange together, but now it seems like a natural pairing! As for the Amazon card, I’d likely buy a lot of kitchen stuff, and a few books. :o) Or maybe I’d splurge on something else fun…hmmmm. :o)

  3. I just had this soup at the airport last week from Elephants and came home to my fiance saying, I really need to figure out this recipe! I am so glad you did! I would love some new cookbooks and more kitchen gadgets!

  4. This was so good! I cut the recipe in half since it was just me, and used almond milk instead of cream to make it vegan. I’m sure the cream would be heavenly, but it was amazing this way! I would have never thought of adding the two flavors together. Thanks!

  5. Thanks for this recipe– I made it tonight and it was delicious and surprising with that touch of orange! I did use only half the cream because it seemed rich enough to me, and I added in some seasoned quinoa at the end for an extra protein boost. Thanks for posting it!

  6. This is my most favorite soup! I just jumped on Pinterest in hopes to find something that would be comparable to Elephant’s and BOOM here you are! This is exactly what I wanted for this random late February snow storm. Thank you! Off to make it!

  7. Going through your soup recipe. Some pretty good stuff!
    for the orange : using orange zest may he easier that tweaking a ratio tomato/orange?

  8. 5 stars
    I will be honest, at first taste, I found the combo of orange and tomato a little strange and was worried that the pot of soup would go to waste. But as I kept eating, the flavors really started to work for me. By the time I ate leftover soup for lunch the next day, the flavors had really melded together and I no longer felt like I tasted the orange separately from the tomato. It was just good soup.

    5 star rating for (1) an easy recipe (2) that tastes good and (3) reheats well. Thanks!!

  9. 5 stars
    This sounds so amazing. I don’t have any oranges now as they are out of season, but I live the idea of adding citrus. I wonder if anyone here has experimented with lemons, limes or grapefruit? If so, what was the outcome. It sounds like a potential disaster to me, but I think that lime would possibly be bearable. I should probably go buy orange juice, get a feel for the soup, and maybe experiment later.

    Thanks for the great recipe.

    • Hi Amber – I’m not an expert at canning, and I know your food has to have a certain acidity level to make it safe for canning. This soup seems like the acidity would be appropriate, but I don’t know for sure. I always just pop it in the freezer. It’ll store in there for a few months.

  10. 5 stars
    This is the best tomato soup recipe ever! Made it tonight and the whole family loved it. Made grilled cheese on sourdough to go with it, as well as a green salad. I followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfect (I skipped the basil since I did not have fresh basil). Strongly recommend squeezing fresh oranges for this instead of using store bought juice. 3 large oranges was enough to get me to 1-1/4 cups. It’s so good, next time I am doubling it so we have leftovers.

  11. 5 stars
    Oh my, this sent me straight to my foodie comfort food zen place! Quick, but gourmet level delicious and the perfect companion to grilled cheese sandwiches. The orange juice add is brilliant! And, it inspired me to also add a teaspoon of garam masala. So, so, so good! I swear, it’s all I can do not to go lick the pot clean.


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