Have you ever been talking about a certain food and then after that conversation, you can’t seem to get the food out of your head? My mom and I were talking about this tomato bisque soup she had in KS while visiting my brother and sister-in-law. It was from a grocery store deli. As she described it to me, I said what most cooks do, “I bet I can make that!” I had never even eaten tomato basil bisque soup, which is strange because I love tomato soup. A few days after our conversation, I was at the grocery store and I came across some tomato basil soup in a carton that looked pretty good. I bought a couple and tried it for lunch. It was really good. Nice chunks of tomato with a creamy base and hint of spice and basil giving it lots of flavor. The only problem, was I ate the entire carton, which was meant for two and I still wanted more. Then I knew I really had to make some sort of tomato basil bisque soup myself. So I began searching my BFF, (Pinterest) for recipes and ideas. If you follow me on Pinterest, you can see that I have a slight addiction to pinning. I have so many recipe boards, which are nicely organized, but whoa I have a ton of recipes pinned. When I want to make a new dish, I usually read through a few recipes that seem to have the key ingredients I like, but then I end up combining a few recipes, eliminating ingredients, adding ingredients, changing up the amounts until I think I have the taste I’m going for. I scribble my notes down as I go, crossing out amounts and changing things as I taste and add things. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. Sometimes I need to try it again with some changes. Sometimes it does work out, and when it does . . . I am so happy!! I do a little victory dance in the kitchen. Let me tell you, this soup is definitely a victory. I have made it at least 6 times now in the past three months and it keeps getting better and I’ve shared it with many friends and family, and neighbors who all love it and gobble it up.
So here’s my Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque Soup Recipe:
2 TBS Butter
1 TBS olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
4 fresh tomatoes diced. I used 2 Roma and 2 regular.
1/4 cup diced red pepper
4 Teas Wyler’s sodium free instant chicken bouillon dissolved in 4 C boiling water. Or use 4 chicken bouillon cubes in 4 C of water.
1 teas garlic powder
1/2 teas red pepper flakes
3 TBS Gourmet Gardens Italian herbs (comes in tube. Found in produce section of grocery store)
8-10 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste.
1 1/2 C heavy cream**** see note below
1/2 C freshly grated Romano cheese
In a large soup pot, sauté diced onion in melted butter and olive oil over med heat
Add in garlic, lower heat and stir. Careful not to burn that garlic.
Add in canned tomatoes (reserve some if you want chunks of tomatoes in final soup)
Add in fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce and all the spices and herbs.
Add in chicken bouillon/ water mixture. Stir over med-high heat, adjust spices if needed.
Use immersion blender and blend until soup is consistency you like. Or you could use regular blender but you may need to do in a few small batches and wait for it to cool down a bit so your blender doesn’t explode 🙂
Add reserved tomatoes back in if you chose to keep some chunky
Stir in heavy cream, lower heat to simmer. Grate 2-3 TBS Romano cheese into soup.
When serving, garnish with a little more Romano cheese and chopped fresh basil.
*****after making this a few times, I’ve adjusted the heavy cream. The last time I made it, I used a whole pint of Half and Half in place of the heavy cream since I was out of heavy cream and didn’t want to go to the store. I also added 3 cubes of frozen heavy cream which I keep on hand in my freezer. I freeze heavy cream in ice-cube trays if I know I will not use it up before it expires. That way I can add it to soups and sauces as I need it. So handy. The half and half and three cubes of heavy cream lightened the calories up on the soup, but the flavor was still awesome as ever! So adjust the heavy cream, half and half per your discretion.
Makes about 4-5 Quarts. Bowl licking and grilled cheese optional.
**update** 9-11-14 Here’s another little tid bit: I use the lid to my big soup pot as a shield when using the immersion blender. This helps keep those splatters from my clothes. Yes they are workout clothes. My three year old partner in crime took the picture. She was the only one home at the time.