Tomato and Saffron Bisque

Tomato and Saffron Bisque is a creamy tomato soup with a flavorful broth made with onions, leeks, shallots, Italian peeled tomatoes, and saffron. Then it’s simmered with cream to create a thick, creamy, delicious tomato bisque perfect for a chilly night.  


A white bowl of creamy tomato soup with a spoon in the soup.

Tomato and Saffron Bisque…

The combination of flavors in this tomato and saffron bisque is sweet, mildly spicy, and very flavorful  The leeks, shallots, and onions along with the saffron, give subtly sweet and complex flavors to the tomatoes. It’s DIVINE!   

It’s delicious and easy to make. Serve it with your favorite sandwich.

This bisque pairs perfectly with our Grilled Cheese & Apple Sandwich, and Grilled Cheese and Pear Sandwich for a simple and delicious meal! For more soup recipes, try our 15 Bean Soup with Pancetta and Basil, Easy Pasta Fagioli Soup, and Creamy Broccoli Parmesan Soup. And for more bisque recipes, don’t miss our Easy Shrimp Bisque.

A spoonful of tomato soup over a white bowl.

What Is a Bisque?

A bisque is a French-style soup made with cream.  It’s most commonly made with seafood such as lobster, crab, shrimp, and crayfish.  My bisque is made without seafood and with only vegetables.    

What is Saffron? 

Saffron is a natural spice from a flower whose flavor cannot be duplicated.  It happens to be a spice that comes from a plant, called Crocus Sativus.  It’s sold in a small plastic or glass container with an appearance of thin threads in a deep reddish color.

A package of Saffron on the tables along with the open small jar with little bright red threads of saffron.

Saffron Spice…

Saffron is commonly used to flavor many European dishes in France, Italy, and Spain and even across the Middle Eastern countries.  The most popular dishes today are French Bouillabaisse, Spanish Paella, and Italian Milanese Risotto, to name a few.  

Tomato and Saffron Bisque by

How To Make This Soup…

This tasty soup will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to put it all together and it will need to simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes until the soup is ready. 

Ingredients Needed…

  • Olive oil: some olive oil is need to sauté the veggies.
  • Butter: unsalted butter is preferred.
  • Vegetables: you will need onions, shallots, garlic cloves, and leeks.
  • Spices: 1 package of saffron threads, and crushed red pepper.
  • Tomatoes: we prefer 1 (28-ounce) can of Italian peeled or crushed tomatoes.
  • Dairy: some low-fat milk and heavy cream is needed.
  • Seasonings: salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.

A white large pot sauteing veggies, a bunch of saffron strands in a small glass jar, and can of tomatoes opened, and blending the soup into a creamy mixture inside the pot.

Directions To Make Tomato and Saffron Bisque: (4- Easy To Follow Steps)

(*Full printable recipe card below!)

STEP 1: COOK THE VEGETABLES: First, sauté all the vegetables in a Dutch oven for a few minutes with olive oil and butter.

STEP 2: ADD THE REMAINING INGREDIENTS: Stir in the saffron and red pepper flakes, allowing them to infuse their flavors into the mixture.  Then pour in the cream, Italian peeled tomatoes, and milk, and season with salt. 

STEP 3: SIMMER THE SOUP: Next, cover and simmer the soup on low heat for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the soup has thickened. 

STEP 4: PUREE’: Use an immersion hand-held blender, and blend the mixture as little or as much as you prefer.  Then serve. 

Super easy! 😉

Options to serve with this bisque… 

There are many options to pair a bisque with a sandwich, or with some crusty bread for dipping. But any one of these sandwiches will go perfectly with our tomato and saffron bisque. 

Questions, Tips, and Notes for Success:

  1. What tomatoes are best to use? I prefer to use Imported Italian peeled tomatoes and pureed them in a blender before adding them to the soup.  If you use “crushed tomatoes” – you don’t need to puree them.
  2. How much saffron do we need? For this recipe, you will only need about 1/2 teaspoon of saffron (a generous pinch).
  3. When and how much to puree it? When the soup was fully cooked and before serving, I pureed 50% of the mixture, using my hand-held immersion blender. I like to keep some texture in the soup, and blend inside the Dutch oven pot, making it easier for clean-up.   
  4. Can we blend the entire mixture? If you prefer, yes! Go ahead and puree all of the mixture.
  5. What if we don’t have a hand-held blender? No worries! You can use a blender and blend in small batches.  Be sure to put a kitchen towel over the cover and hold it down before you press the lowest speed on your blender. 

Tasty Tomato Bisque…

This is truly a flavorful soup and easy to whip up! Serve with either grated Parmesan cheese or with pecorino cheese at the table. (it’s the best!)

..and ENJOY!! 

More Hearty Soups You’ll Love!

Yield: 6 cups

Tomato and Saffron Bisque

A spoonful of tomato soup over a white bowl.

Tomato and Saffron Bisque is a creamy tomato soup loaded with onions, leeks, shallots, and Italian peeled tomatoes. Then it's simmered with some cream, saffron, and red pepper flakes to create a thick, creamy, and most delicious tomato bisque.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 + 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of chopped onions (1 large onion)
  • 3/4 cup chopped shallots (1 large shallot)
  • 2 garlic cloves - sliced
  • 1 cup chopped leeks (1 small leek, only white part)
  • 1/2 tsp. (packed) of saffron threads
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of Italian peeled or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup 2% low-fat milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste


  1. In a Dutch oven or large pot heat over moderate heat. Add in the olive oil and butter until butter is melted.
  2. Next, add the chopped onions, shallots, garlic, and leeks and cook for 10 minutes, until they are all softened and tender.
  3. Stir in the saffron threads, red pepper flakes, and simmer for 1 minute.
  4. Then add in the heavy cream, Italian tomatoes, milk, and salt. Cover with a lid and bring to a low boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Simmer the soup for about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Finally, before you serve, use an immersion hand-held blender to puree about 50% of the mixture. If you prefer, you can puree the entire mixture. Take the final taste, and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper to your preference.
  6. Then serve.
  7. Yields: 4 to 5 servings

Nutrition Information:


6 servings

Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 351Total Fat: 4.7gProtein: 16.1g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Any questions?  Ask away! Have you tried my Tomato and Saffron Bisque recipe?  Let us know and leave a comment below.

Don’t forget to enter your email address in our ‘Subscribe Box Below’ and get our recipes “FREE“! This soup was inspired and adapted by

Stay Healthy and Happy Cooking!!  🙂

anna and liz selfie

Welcome! From Anna and Liz

We believe the kitchen is the center and the heart of the home. It is where we cook, eat, and unwind with family and friends, creating memorable traditions! Read more…

Sign Up For Our Email List

Something delicious for your inbox! Subscribe and join our email list and get all our recipes FREE!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. This soup is incredible. I made it for a holiday party this past weekend and it was gone in minutes. Everyone LOVED!!! Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to see what you post next 🙂

    1. Oh, thank you so much Jules, and welcome to our recipe blog, it is so nice to meet you. So glad you had a great outcome! Looking forward to hearing from you again. Have a wonderful holiday! 🙂

  2. What great photos! They are making me hungry 🙂 Love the saffron addition in this recipes plus onion, shallots and leek, Oh My! 🙂 Can’t wait to try it.

    1. Thank you! This bisque turned out so good, and better than I had expected. Let me know when you do try it! I’d love to hear back from you. 😉

  3. I can’t wait to try this soup. It looks absolutely delicious and I love the way you explained it step by step. I know saffron is a little pricy, but I’ll give it a try.

    1. Thank you so much, Judee! I’m so thrilled you will try my soup. Welcome to our little cooking blog, it’s so nice to meet you. Have a great week.

    1. Thanks, Karen, …this was a first for me to make a tomato bisque and I was very pleased with the outcome. Hope you will try it! ENJOY!!