Recipe: Tomato Bisque, (Nearly) Just Like Mom’s

Crispelli’s Steven Lindemier re-creates a childhood memory with a savory tomato bisque // Photographs by Joe Vaughn

Steven Lindemier has fond memories of the tomato soup his mother served his family, along with grilled-cheese sandwiches. This is his recollection of the soup. The executive chef at Crispelli’s Bakery & Pizzeria in Berkley says he likes to use Roma tomatoes because of their low acid content.

Tomato Bisque (6-8 servings)


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
1/2 ounce fresh garlic, chopped
3 pounds, ripe Roma tomatoes, core removed and roughly chopped
48 ounces chicken stock
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup water
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste


Place a 4-quart sauce pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Cook onions, garlic, and oregano in oil for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the onions become clear and tender. Add tomatoes to pot and simmer 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. The tomatoes should be cooked into a sauce.
Puree soup using a hand stick blender until the mixture is smooth. Add heavy cream to tomato puree and bring to boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk cornstarch and water together in a small bowl and set aside. Bring soup back to a light boil. While whisking, slowly drizzle cornstarch/water mixture into soup; it will begin to thicken slightly. Allow soup to return to a simmer and stir in butter. Simmer for 5 minutes andseason to taste with salt and white pepper.

(Note: Soup can be strained for a more refined appearance.)