Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller  

Tomato Bisque

Alex learned this creamy soup from his former business partner Mary Boyle Hataway. Strong coffee gives it superior depth.

Southern Living DECEMBER 2013

  • Yield: Makes about 2 qt.
  • Hands-on:15 Minutes
  • Total:45 Minutes


  • 3 (14.5-oz.) cans good-quality diced tomatoes
  • 2 large onions, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon jarred beef soup base
  • 1 teaspoon jarred chicken soup base
  • 2 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Garnishes: whipped cream, golden caviar, fresh parsley or chive sprigs


1. Bring first 10 ingredients and 5 cups water to a boil in a large stockpot over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high; simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until reduced by one-fourth. Cool 15 minutes.

2. Process with a handheld blender until smooth. Stir in cream and next 3 ingredients. Garnish as desired. Serve immediately.


Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 4 days, or freeze up to 8 weeks. Reheat over medium heat until soup simmers. (Do not boil.)


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Tomato Bisque recipe