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This restaurant-style Instant Pot Tomato Soup is rich, creamy, and super delicious. Enjoy this silky-smooth bisque made with fresh tomatoes right at home in under 40 minutes. It is quick, easy, gluten free comfort food, whether you want to impress guests or get cozy with a hot bowl!
Creamy Tomato Soup or Tomato Bisque?
There isn’t much better than curling up with a steaming bowl of tomato soup. But many restaurants have elevated this simple dish by adding basil and cream to turn it into what one would call a tomato bisque.
Technically, a bisque is a type of soup. But traditionally, tomato soup is mostly vegetable-based with just broth. So it is fairly thin. Tomato bisque, on the other hand, is made thicker and creamier with the addition of, you guessed it, cream.
On some menus, though, you may see it referred to simply as Tomato Basil Soup, which is a creamy tomato soup with the fresh flavor of basil to really enhance those tomatoes. In fact, it was one of my favorites, along with Poached Pear Salad, at a restaurant I used to love when I lived in New Jersey.
And now I am so excited to be making it at home using my Instant Pot. I think you are going to enjoy this incredible comfort food recipe too!
Why this Recipe Works
There’s no need to visit an expensive restaurant to enjoy creamy tomato bisque when you can make it in your Instant Pot in under 40 minutes! While it tastes rich and indulgent, it is made with fresh tomatoes and lots of other veggies. So it is packed with healthy vitamins and other nutrients. Although it is totally cozy and comforting to warm you up on a cold winter day, the fresh tomato basil flavors actually make it a soup you can enjoy when you have the bounty of summer produce.
Not to mention that it is thickened naturally by pureeing the vegetables and adding cream, so it is also gluten free and low carb-friendly (with one simple adjustment).
Because it cooks in a pressure cooker, it has all the flavor from having simmered all day. But you can easily get it started after you’ve just run in the house from a long day and be ready to enjoy it around the dinner table with the family in practically no time. In fact, you can definitely put together a gooey grilled cheese or a light side salad while this Instant Pot Tomato Soup is cooking!
- Unsalted butter: For sauteeing the veggies. Butter adds to the richness, but you can use olive oil, if you prefer.
- Fresh tomatoes: Cut them into quarters. You don’t even have to remove the cores since it all gets pureed, but you can if you prefer to.
- Onion: Roughly chopped.
- Celery: Roughly chopped.
- Carrots: Roughly chopped. It’s up to you whether you peel them or not.
- Garlic: Several cloves, minced.
- Vegetable stock: This soup is vegetarian, though chicken stock will work if that’s what you have.
- Salt and pepper
- Red chili flakes: For just a hint of spice. Feel free to reduce or omit.
- Dried oregano: Gives it a robust, Italian flavor.
- Fresh basil: Add some freshness.
- Heavy cream: Added at the end to make it super creamy.
- Honey: This balances out the natural acidity of the tomatoes. You can also use a bit of sugar. To make this low carb, you can omit it, though it will affect the flavor. You can also try a carb-free substitute.
How to Make Instant Pot Tomato Soup with Fresh Tomatoes
The exact cooking time will depend on how long it takes your Instant Pot to come to pressure, but overall the soup should be done from start to finish in under 40 minutes, including the prep time. Let’s get started.
Saute the vegetables: Set the Instant Pot on the Saute function, add the butter and let it melt. Cook chopped onion and garlic for a couple of minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add in the chopped carrots and celery and saute briefly before adding the tomatoes.
Pressure cook: Add the vegetable stock and stir in the salt, black pepper, chili flakes, oregano, and basil. Pressure cook for 8 minutes, then perform a quick release.
Puree the soup: Puree the soup using an immersion blender, or you can let it cool slightly and then transfer it in batches to a regular blender and blend until it becomes smooth, being careful to allow the steam to escape.
Make it creamy: Set the Instant Pot on the Saute function and stir in the cream and honey. Let it heat through and just barely come to a bubble, but don’t let it fully boil. Once done cancel the Saute function.
Now it’s time to serve your hot and steamy Instant Pot Tomato Soup. Add a little texture or flavor by sprinkling, drizzling something on top, like:
- Additional cream
- Fresh basil
- Crispy prosciutto or cooked bacon that you’ve crumbled
- Red pepper flakes
- Polenta Croutons
- Balsamic reduction
- Parmesan cheese
How to Store and Reheat Tomato Soup
Refrigerate: You can store the Tomato bisque in an airtight container for 3 days in the refrigerator.
Freeze: Let cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Reheat: Transfer the soup to a saucepan and warm gently over medium-low heat on the stove. You can also microwave it in a microwave-safe container until it is hot, stirring every 20-30 seconds. You do not want to let it boil or the cream will curdle. It is still safe to eat, but will not have that silky texture.
Pack it: While it is hot, pour it in a thermos to send to work or school in a lunchbox. Or use these Corning Soup Bowls with a vented lid if you will be bringing it somewhere that you can heat it up in a microwave.
Tips for Success
Keep it Simple! When preparing the vegetables, everything only has to be roughly chopped since it will all get pureed in the end. Don’t spend too much time on the prep.
Take Care When Pureeing! If you use an immersion blender, you should be fine, though be careful not to let the hot soup splatter. If you use a regular blender, let it cool slightly, puree it in batches, and pulse slowly at first, stopping periodically to allow the steam to escape.
Don’t Let it Boil! After you add the cream, just let it warm through, and don’t let it come to a full boil or the cream may curdle.
Make it a Meal
A simple bowl of Creamy Tomato Soup becomes a full meal when you pair it with something delicious and satisfying.
Things You’ll Need
- The 6-quart Instant Pot Duo is crazy popular for a ton of reasons. It’s the right size for most people’s needs, has plenty of functions without being more than necessary, and it is under $100.
- An immersion blender is a handy kitchen tool and safer for blending hot liquids than using a blender.
- That being said, a simple Oster blender will do the trick for this soup.
Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Soup
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 5 medium tomatoes, quartered
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- ½ cup chopped carrots
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red chili flakes or more to taste
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp honey
- Set the Instant Pot on the Saute function, let it heat up. Add butter and let it melt, then add the chopped onion and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add in the chopped carrots and celery. Sauté it for a few seconds.
- Next, add in the tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes become a little soft.
- Add the vegetable stock followed by salt, black pepper, chili flakes, oregano, and basil. Mix well.
- Select Cancel to stop the Saute function. Close the lid and make sure valve is in sealing position. Select Pressure Cook on High or select Manual (depending on your model of Instant Pot) and set the timer for 8 minutes.
- Once the pressure-cooking cycle is over, quick release the pressure by opening the vent. Select Cancel to end the cycle.
- Carefully open the lid and puree the soup using an immersion blender; or you can let it cool slightly and then transfer it in batches to a regular blender and blend until it becomes smooth, being careful to allow the steam to escape.
- Set the Instant Pot on the Saute function and stir in the cream and honey. Let it just barely come to a bubble, but don't let it fully boil. Once done cancel the Saute function.
- Serve hot garnished with fresh basil, drops of cream, and chili flakes (optional).
More creamy soup recipes
There isn’t much better than a thick rich soup recipe to warm your body and soul. These are some of my favorites.