Tomato Basil Bisque

I have been searching unsuccessfully for over a year for a really good tomato soup recipe. Today I finally found it on one of the food blogs I frequent (melskitchencafe.com). This soup was divine.  Creamy.  Well seasoned.  Beautiful color. And, it made enough for me to have more tomorrow.  Perfect.

Don’t be fooled by the title though.  Shellfish do not make an appearance in this “bisque.”  I didn’t know until today that a bisque could also mean a creamy soup made from roasted vegetables. In this case, the roasted vegetable is butternut squash (one of my fall favorites but, alas, not my kiddies – their loss).

Enjoy!

Tomato Basil Bisque

1 medium butternut squash (for about 1 1/2 cups cooked squash)

1 T butter or olive oil

1/4 cup finely diced onion

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 can (14.5 0z) Italian-style stewed tomatoes (I used a can of regular diced plus 1 tsp Italian seasoning)

1 cup chicken stock

1 tsp salt

1 T sugar

1 tsp dried basil

1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the butternut squash by cutting it in half, lengthwise, so you have two long pieces. Scoop out the seeds and pulp.  Place both sides cut-side down in a 9×13 pan. Add enough water to come about 1/4″ up the sides of the squash.  Cover with foil and bake for about an hour.  Test with a fork to make sure the squash is very tender in several places.  If the flesh doesn’t easily give to the pressure of the fork, continue baking in ten minute increments until tender. Remove the squash from the pan and let cool for about 15 minutes.  Scoop out the flesh.  If preparing the day before, scoop out the flesh and place it in a tupperware.  Let cool completely before refrigerating.  If using the squash immediately, scoop the squash into a blender.

While the squash is cooking, melt the butter and saute the onion until soft and translucent.  Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (30 seconds).  Scoop the onion/garlic mixture into the blender with the squash.

Add the canned tomatoes (undrained) to the blender.  Process until smooth.  I had to add about 1/2 of the chicken stock to the blender to thin it out enough to process. Pour the blended mixture into a saucepan and add the remaining chicken stock, salt, sugar, basil and cream.  Stir to combine well.  Heat over medium low until the soup is warm. Don’t boil or simmer – the cream will curdle.  Serve immediately.

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