I should really save myself some time and just re-name this blog “Stuff I Like to Eat.” If you were wondering how I decide what I’m going to post next, it’s generally a combination of what I’ve been craving, and what recipes I’ve already done some work and testing on. This Tomato Basil Bisque is exactly what I’ve been wanting lately, despite the fact that I live on the east coast and we’re currently experiencing some full-on early spring. It’s not exactly creamy tomato soup weather, but who says it really has to be? It’s February, and that’s good enough for me!
This Tomato Basil Bisque is, like most of my recipes, a conglomeration of several others, with some of my own additions. The main inspirations for this soup were this recipe, and this one. I took my favorite parts of those, and went from there. My version of Tomato Basil Bisque is thick and creamy, deeply flavorful, and it’s got a little kick that’s balanced by the cream in the recipe. It’s not too spicy in any sense of the word, but it’s most certainly not bland.
This recipe calls for butternut squash, which I think adds a lot of body and a nice, almost nutty flavor that blends really well with the tomato. I wish I could say that was my own idea, but I got it from the second recipe linked above. The first time I worked with this soup, I tried it with sweet potato instead, to see if I could cut the (already small) amount of added sugar, but it was mostly a failure. Recipe testing is so fun – until it doesn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, and then you’re left with half a gallon of weird failure soup.
I paired my Tomato Basil Bisque with an upgraded grilled cheese, made on sourdough with cheddar and mozzarella, and a thin layer of mayo (try it, it’s a game changer). I’m sitting here writing this and wondering what else people serve with tomato soup – will begin that research soon!
The process for making this soup is pretty easy, and not too time-consuming. The whole thing spends roughly an hour on the stove, but you don’t have to watch it constantly. The only prep work is chopping some garlic and onion and measuring out spices, so it doesn’t become too tedious, either. You could get a batch of Stuffed Corn Bubbles filled with cheese rising/baking in the oven while making this soup, and then die of happiness when you eat them together. The southwestern flavors in both recipes would make them a brilliant pairing! I guess I just answered my own question about what else you serve with tomato soup!
Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 14.5 oz cans Hunt's fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 oz tomato paste
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups butternut squash, chopped
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsps dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1/8 tsp chili powder
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp onion powder
Roughly chop onions and mince garlic. Add to a large pot with 2 Tbsps of butter. Let cook until onions and garlic begin to brown.
2. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, butternut squash (make sure the squash chunks aren't too large, so they won't take forever to cook), salt, pepper, basil, oregano, thyme, brown sugar, cayenne, and chili powder to the pot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Cover and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Continue to stir occasionally while soup is simmering.
3. Test butternut squash to see if it's fork-tender. When it is, remove soup from heat, and blend until smooth. I used my NutriBullet, but any blender would do.
4. Return soup to the pot over low heat and stir in cream, milk, and onion powder, Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy with a grilled cheese, or by itself!