When Life Gives You Tomatoes | Fire-Roasted Tomato Bisque

Fire-Roasted Tomato Bisque | Once Upon a Recipe

Have you ever eaten something at a restaurant that is just so damn good that you cannot stop thinking about it? And so then you create excuses find good reasons to go back to that same restaurant to enjoy that same thing over and over again? And then, after the tenth time going to that same restaurant and eating that same thing, you start to wonder if maybe you could make the thing at home, saving yourself some cash and also freeing yourself up to possibly eat out elsewhere and discover new obsessions?

Cool. I’m glad we understand each other. That’s totally what happened with this soup!

Fire-Roasted Tomato Bisque | Once Upon a Recipe

There is a great little pizzeria franchise here in Alberta, BC, and Ontario called Famoso, which specializes in authentic Neapolitan pizza. The pizza is totally killer. Now, I have to preface the rest of this story by telling you that I rarely order soup in restaurants. I’m just not really a soup girl. Plus, when up against something like pizza (hello cheesy, carby goodness), the soup is going to play second fiddle every time. A friend recommended that I try the fire-roasted tomato bisque and when she claimed that it was something along the lines of “best ever,” I decided to put it to the test.

And then I proceeded to go back to Famoso to eat this soup more times than I would like to admit over the couple of months that followed. (Don’t worry, I still ordered a small pizza alongside it!)

Fire-Roasted Tomato Bisque | Once Upon a Recipe

This soup. Well, it’s a bisque really, and I must confess that I did not know the difference between a soup and a bisque until about 29 seconds ago when I turned to Google for help. Apparently, a bisque is a type of rich, thick, creamy soup that has been pureed so that it has an even texture. Although, according to Wikipedia, a traditional bisque is “a smooth, creamy, highly-seasoned soup of French origin, classically based on a strained broth (coulis) of crustaceans.” Well excuse me, fancy pants. 

Whether this is truly a soup or a bisque, I have no idea. But what I do know is…it’s freaking delicious. After scouring the Internets for recipes that seemed to resemble the taste of the soup from Famoso that I had essentially committed to memory, I found one that, coupled with a few little tweaks, seems to be pretty darn close. It’s not quite as creamy and dreamy as the restaurant version, but I am rather certain that Famoso uses a much more generous amount of half & half, or likely even cream in their soup. So let’s just call this the lighter and tighter cousin to Famoso’s soup. Bisque. Whatever. Just make it! ‘Tis the season for soup, after all.

Fire-Roasted Tomato Bisque | Once Upon a Recipe

Fire-Roasted Tomato Bisque (adapted from The Novice Chef)

This bisque packs a flavorful punch. The use of fire-roasted tomatoes is key – don’t go trying to sub in regular ‘ol tomatoes. They just won’t cut it here. I found fire-roasted tomatoes alongside the other canned tomatoes in my local grocery store, but any Italian grocer should carry them. Also, fresh basil will make this bisque even more fantastic, so if it’s available to you, go ahead and use it. The fresh basil at my local grocer was looking rather sad and pathetic. And finally, the generous serving of crumbled feta cheese really takes this soup over the top, so please don’t leave it out. 

1/4 cup herb-infused olive oil (or EVOO)

1 onion, diced

8 garlic cloves, minced

3 (14 oz.) cans of fire-roasted tomatoes (ie. Scarpone’s)

2 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)

1/2 cup half & half

2 tsp. dried basil

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper, to taste

Crumbled feta cheese, for topping

In a heavy pot over medium high heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onion until translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook with the onion for a few minutes. Add the cans of fire roasted tomatoes (juice included) and cover for about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

With the lid off the pot, add the broth and half & half and bring the soup to a simmer. The mixture should start to thicken as it reduces (~10-15 minutes). Once slightly thickened, season to taste with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes more.

Time to puree! Using either an immersion blender (if you’re lucky), or a regular blender, puree the soup until smooth. Be careful if using a regular blender as the soup is (obviously) hot! You may need to puree the soup in several batches.

Serve with a generous mound of crumbled feta cheese (and fresh basil if you’ve got it), and stir it into your soup as you eat. Buon appetito!


  1. I would definitely add a goat cheese grilled cheese to this soup and call it lunch. Love it! Thanks for the recipe!

    Sweet Tooth

  2. This is so beautiful!!! I just wrote about a similar situation I have with this turkey chili for a restaurant by my house. I went to said place twice in one weekend until I was just like, I can make this myself!

  3. Yum, Yum! I love tomato soup and this sounds like tomato soup with a serious kick! Delicious.

  4. I made soup like this last month – used fire roasted tomatoes and it was such a hit. Yours looks gorgeous!

  5. Tomato soup is my JAM. It’s probably the best soup hands down. with mine instead of Feta I do use Parmesan cheese.
    Also Wicked purple dutch oven!

    • Thanks Megan! I probably wouldn’t normally pick tomato soup out of all the soups out there, but this one is fantastic! I credit the fire-roasted tomatoes – SO good!

  6. This soup looks beautiful. I can’t get enough tomato soup this time of year – and I’m loving the idea of topping it off with crumbled feta! 🙂

  7. Oh gosh! This looks delicious. I love feta & will def be making this


  8. I just recently discovered fire-roasted tomatoes and I can’t believe I’ve been going so long without them! They add such a cool flavor that is hard to find anywhere else–especially in winter. Next time I’m making tomato soup I’m using fire-roasted tomatoes (with a goat cheese grilled cheese — awesome idea from above!)

    PS every time I click over from my reader I still can’t believe how pretty your new(ish) blog design looks. So so nice!

  9. Hallo Darling! Yay I can comment! I had some weird issues last week where I kept trying to comment on your blueberry loaf recipe and it just diverted me to some weird widget!? I so SHOULD have emailed you about it but life has been so CRAAAAZy busy that I somehow just kept forgetting… im an awful friend I know. BUT all is well again now in comment land.
    The thing I had also been trying to say comment-wise was that we DID make your shrimp and they were killer! I actually made this bizzare fusion style meal where I served them with coconut milk cauliflower rice (wrap your head round THAT) and margaitas and then flapjacks for dessert. Julia child I am not .. but it tasted awesome! THis soup also sounds spectacular! Im actually a big fan of ordering soups in restaurants because, despite how lame they initially sound, any good restaurant will always use homemade stock and that really makes the difference. Im a bit better about making stock from scratch myself now.. but I still do order soups in restaurants and love them nearly all the time. I’d love to try this bisque – you must also experiment with miso in your tomato soup.. we did it in my course and it was AMAZING! xx

    • No worries my dear, I understand the busy life part – some days I wonder where all of my time goes! I’m so glad you enjoyed the shrimp! Your entire meal sounds absolutely fabulous – coconut milk cauliflower rice what?! Please explain…

  10. Your soup looks so good and perfect for this cold weather. Yes, the visiting the same restaurant and order the same thing happened to me just too often. hehehe…that’s why I like to re-create restaurant dishes at home too. I say, great minds think alike! 😉 Hope you’re enjoying your weekend so far. Take care.

  11. This creamy fire-roasted tomato bisque soup calls for store-bought chicken broth and canned tomatoes but the aromatic vegetables give it homemade taste.

  12. your recipes have been ridiculous recently…as in, ridiculously delicious looking. I need to make this. Add a grilled cheese sammie to the equation and you’ve dished up my favorite lunch or dinner…ever.

  13. I made this soup Sunday night and we loved it! I could only find Hunt’s fire roasted tomatoes, I’m going to search for a better brand, as I think it would then taste even better then. I will be making it again and again though! I added some balsamic vinegar at the end for some sweetness….a great healthful soup.

  14. I came across your blog after searching for Famoso’s Roasted Tomato Bisque recipe. Your recipe looks great, I can’t wait to try it out.

    I am so happy to have come across your blog, the recipes look wonderful and you have lovely pictures. And it’s great to see another fellow Albertan food blogger! 🙂

    • Thanks Robyn! I actually visited your blog once before after reading an interview on Only Here for the Food. I love your little space too!
      PS. Hope you love this recipe – let me know what you think!

  15. Faysal Khatri says:

    Hi, Amanda.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe, and for maintaining this site. 🙂
    It really is a pleasure to read your work.

    I admittedly strayed a bit in cooking up this bisque-
    1. I baked fresh heirloom tomatoes in my oven with some OO, salt and pepper instead of using the canned tomatoes.
    2. I added scallions, just because I had them
    3. I added some dried thyme

    The soup was just outstanding. My wife made some toasted cheese sandwiches to go with it. Here’s a photo: http://www.fkhatri.net:8888/images/bisque.jpg


    • That looks (and sounds) like an amazing dinner, Faysal! I love the personal spin you put on the recipe, especially roasting your own tomatoes. Lovely!

  16. Love this receipe!! I have made it several times, If I were to triple this receipe would I triple the garlic?

  17. Awesome soup

  18. how many servings does it yield?

  19. What if I used coconut milk intead of half and half to make it vegan? would it taste ok?

    • Hi Carolyn. Using coconut milk instead of half and half will definitely change the overall flavour, but I don’t see why it couldn’t work and I imagine it would still taste great. Let me know if you try it and what you think!

  20. This is so funny…I clicked on the link to your tomato bisque recipe from because I had a wonderful tomato bisque at a pizzeria in Toronto a few weeks ago and wanted to recreate it at home. I couldn’t remember the name of the pizzeria I ate at but after reading that the tomato bisque you recreated was from Famoso, I looked it up and found that the place I ate at was also Famoso. They do make an AMAZING tomato bisque! I guess I really do understand where you are coming from! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  21. Where is everyone finding fire roasted tomatoes? I live in Alberta. Co-Op and Superstore did not have them.

  22. just soo you know it’s suppost to be ricotta cheese not feta it’s an Italian recipe from an Italian restaurant :p not Greek :p

  23. Oh thank you so much, my husband love that’s bisque so much.
    Honestly I never knew the difference between soup and bisque either until I read your article.
    Once again thank you as I’m going to make it now, wish me luck

  24. Is it ok to use regular olive oil instead of herb infused? (Just don’t have any)

  25. Saadia Qureshi says:

    This is absolutely delicious. I am writing as I eat. Followed the recipe exactly, except used garlic powder (instead of minced), heavy whipping cream (instead of half-and-half), and dried basil (instead of fresh). Topped with cheese and garlic croutons. Delish!!! Thank you so much for such an easy to follow and delicious recipe.

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