Love tomato basil bisque? Read on for a quick and simple recipe to make it at home in 30 minutes.
As the weather continues to cool, I’m starting to settle in for some of my cold weather comfort foods. I’m using my crockpot even more, making more pasta dishes, and yes, soups are on the menu. Warm and comforting, soup is right up my alley this time of year. That said, I’m not always looking for a heavy stew. Sometimes I want something that will warm me up that’s still lighter.
One of my favorite comfort foods growing up? Tomato soup and grilled cheese. I’ve long since graduated from the days where my mom would give me canned tomato soup (cooked with water and not even milk) and two slices of white bread surrounding a single piece of processed cheese food product. No, these days I take just a few minutes more – really not that many – and make something that is not only tastier but better for me, too!
I love tomato basil bisque, and this recipe comes together quickly and is mostly “let it simmer” time, which means I work on other projects while my dinner is getting ready. And did you notice that I don’t have traditional grilled cheese? Nope, I decided long ago that I prefer to eat quesadillas with mozzarella cheese with my tomato soup. The flavors go together so well, and it’s fun to use my pizza wheel to slice them into little soldiers and pretend like I’m a kid again. Sorta.
30 Minute Tomato Basil Bisque
The most work that goes into this tomato basil bisque is chopping the onion and garlic. Seriously. That’s the hardest part. While I’m prepping my onion, I turn my soup pot almost up to medium but just a hair under and let it warm up. Once the onion is diced and the pot is hot, I add oil and make sure it shimmers then toss in the onion and quickly mince some garlic to add, as well. That gets sweated for just a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.
While I’m waiting on the onion, I open up my cans of crushed tomato and measure out my chicken stock. Once they’re ready, add them to the pot and turn up the heat so the mixture comes to a boil and add the dried basil and parsley (if it were summer and I had fresh, I’d add at the end but alas, it’s winter). Once it’s boiling, the heat goes back down to a simmer (barely bubbles), and I let it go for 20 minutes.
During that time, I measure out my cream and get the sugar ready before heading off to clean or work or *gasp* sit down to read for a few minutes. After 20 minutes, I grab my trusty immersion blender and puree the almost-but-not-quite tomato basil bisque. If you don’t have an immersion blender, go buy one. Kidding. Mostly. If you don’t have one, you can use a regular blender. Pour only about a third of the container filled with the soup and use a kitchen towel to hold the top on then whip it up. Place the blended portion into a serving bowl and add more to the blender, repeating until all the soup is done. Just be careful with hot liquids in a blender as the heat builds up pressure and the top can pop off easily and send boiling hot soup everywhere – ergo, hold the top on with a kitchen towel to protect yourself.
If the soup is in your serving bowl, return it to the saucepan and add the sugar and cream, with the heat still on low, and stir to incorporate. Add salt and pepper to taste, and you’re ready to go. If you have extra time, let it simmer for another half hour to let the flavors mature, but this tomato basil bisque is pretty darn good just in that half hour you used to make it. Once my soup is “done,” that’s when I start to work on my quesadillas to accompany the soup, but feel free to prep those in the 20 minutes while the soup is simmering, too.
The best part? It makes plenty, so you’re (almost) guaranteed to have leftovers, and this soup is even better on the second day. I love to serve it in a bowl with those quesadillas I cut into little soldiers and topped with some Parmesan cheese that I slices with my vegetable peeler to get great little shavings.
This delicious tomato basil bisque is ready in a half hour and you wouldn't believe how little effort creates such an amazing soup.
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 28 oz cans tomatoes, crushed
- 3 c chicken broth
- 2 T dried basil
- 2 t dried parsley
- 1/4 c sugar
- 3/4 c heavy cream
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat a heavy soup pan on medium heat. While the pan is heating, chop you onions and garlic. Add oil to the preheated pan and once shimmering, add the onion then garlic. Let sweat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, chicken stock, basil, and parsley and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the soup or place batches in a blender to puree, holding down the top with a kitchen towel for safety. Return soup to pan, if necessary, and keep heat on low. Add sugar and cream and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately with grated Parmesan or let simmer for another twenty minutes for flavors to mature further. Store in a tightly sealed container in refrigerator for up to three days. The soup gets better every day.
If you have access to fresh basil and parsley, triple the amount you use of fresh and add it at the very end just before pureeing.