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Rach shares her recipe for a smoky fire-roasted tomato bisque with homemade cheesy croutons. She uses heavy cream here (that's what makes it a bisque) but you can easily make it dairy-free too:  

"You can omit the dairy and turn this into a tomato soup, and it's a delicious pasta sauce if you use less of the chicken or vegetable stock in the dish—it's super versatile," says Rach. For vegetarians, simply skip the 'nduja.


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 bulb fennel, quartered, cored and finely chopped  
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped or grated 
  • Salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped or sliced 
  • 3 ounces 'nduja, optional
  • One 28-ounce can diced or crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1½ cups passata or tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar 
  • One handful basil leaves
  • 1 quart vegetable stock or chicken bone broth or stock
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • Cheesy Croutons, for serving


Serves: 4 to 6


Heat EVOO in soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, 3 turns of the pan, add fennel, onion, carrot and season with salt, sweat 5 to 7 minutes partially covered, add garlic and stir a minute or 2. If using 'nduja, make a space or well at the center and melt 'nduja and stir. Add tomatoes, passata, a sprinkle of sugar, basil and broth or stock, bring to a simmer and cook 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and puree with immersion/stick blender and stir in cream. Return to stove to keep warm on low heat. Serve in bowls topped with cheesy croutons.