Monday, December 12, 2011

A Tomato Basil Soup That Serves Many Occasions

Tomato Basil Bisque
Eric concocted this spur of the moment recipe for a holiday party a few years ago.  The texture and consistency depends upon your taste.  It’s hearty, so you can serve it as the beginning or feature of a meal or at a party.

1 stick of butter or margarine
10 oz can of tomato paste
2-14 oz cans of broth
     (vegetable is best, but chicken or beef
     would work as well)
28 oz can of diced tomatoes
     (or whatever collection of smaller containers
     adds up to about the same)
8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 Tbsp of sugar
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of white pepper
1 Tbsp of oregano
1 – 2 Tbsp of basil
1 tsp of thyme (optional)
1 bay leaf (optional)

Check and adjust:
6 oz can of tomato paste
½ cup of cream or ¾ cup of half and half

In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the tomato paste until it bubbles, but isn’t boiling/burning.  Stir in the broth and turn up to high, stirring until it boils.  Once it does, turn down the heat to low.  Add the diced tomatoes, the sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, oregano, basil (thyme and bay are optional).  Cover and let simmer for 15 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Don’t let it burn.  Remove bay leaf if you used it.  
Check for flavor and texture.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.

The soup can be frozen or kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days before serving at this point.

Before serving, if you want a thicker texture, stir in the smaller can of tomato paste and heat on medium until it is incorporated.  If you want to finish this as a bisque, stir in cream or half and half and keep it at a simmer.
Makes about 8 dinner servings or 20 – 24 tasting portions.

It's a little spicy for my taste, but that's just me.

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