More Please! Repost of Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque Soup

I decided that I’d repost the recipe that really motivated me to start this blog in the first place – my Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque Soup. I had made the soup and shared the recipe with a few friends and they loved it. One compared it to Panera’s and said mine was better. That was a pretty great thing to hear! I had been wanting to start some sort of food blog that also included household topics, beauty, and other categories, but I just never got around to it. After I had made this soup and my friends and family all loved it and they encouraged me to start a blog already, I knew I should just go with my gut and dive right in. It’s been over a year now and I hope you are enjoying it as much as I do! I love sharing recipes, stories, and connecting with people! It’s a creative outlet for me and I love that it’s something my girls will be able to read and enjoy as they get older! It’s kind of like my diary, only it’s usually focused on food, oh and it’s open for all the world to see – eeeeek! That’s kind of scary when you put it that way! So I’ll keep the posts coming – don’t worry, I’m working on a few right now. It’s just been a crazy season with basketball for our oldest. It’s been hectic. I won’t lie- there have been days where we are just rummaging through the pantry or having leftovers again for supper because there just isn’t time to throw a meal together. Last night, I made pancakes with blueberry sauce, sausage, and cinnamon apples, but there was not enough time to eat it before I had to take the girls to youth group at church. So I had them grab a few slices of cheese, a couple Ritz Crackers and slices of salami to shove in on the 3 minute drive to the church to tide them over for a couple of hours. I apologize to any of their friends or leaders at church if they smelled like a deli counter! They enjoyed their yummy pancakes and all the other goodies around 8:30 and then it was showers for all and bedtime for the youngest two and homework still to be completed by our oldest! Once that was done, we were all ready to get in bed. The only bad thing about an early bedtime is that it means the dogs get up even earlier than the crack of dawn (if that’s even possible) and demand to go outside to potty and then again to be fed soon after.  To bring this back on topic – I can’t even remember where I was going with this . . .  oh yes! The soup that started it all! Well, here’s a repost of the soup that started it all – gave me the guts to go ahead and start this mind wandering blog! So if you are a new follower or just missed some of my earlier posts, here it is for you again!

. . .

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.

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Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque Soup

Ingredients:

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 – you can reduce or omit if you don’t like any spice
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
Directions:
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.
Enjoy!
**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.
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