Tomato Basil Parmesan Bisque

Nothing celebrates the coziness of fall like soup!

One of my husband’s favorite meals is classic grilled cheese and tomato soup, so it was important to me to develop a delicious recipe that is healthier than its canned counterpart. However, I didn’t want to stop simply at tomatoes. I wanted basil, I wanted Parmesan, and I wanted it to be thick to better cling to the gooey grilled cheese. This final dish is the culmination of tweaking over the last several years, resulting is a thick, rich bisque, with a delicious depth of flavor!

One of the shortcuts I take without shame is using canned tomatoes. Removing tomato skins can be frustrating and not always worth the effort. I especially recommend using San Marzano tomatoes from Italy. Their acidity is lower than other varieties, resulting in a smoother tasting soup. I recommend the consistency and quality of the Cento brand, available at most grocery stores. If you can’t find San Marzano tomatoes, however, you can always add a pinch of sugar to counteract any bitterness in your tomatoes.

This recipe freezes well, too! I frequently double the recipe, freezing the remaining quarts as individual servings for later. This makes it just as easy to grab as canned soup, but so much healthier. You’ll never go back to a can again!

Tomato basil bisque

Tomato Basil Parmesan Bisque

1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 – 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 – 14 oz can of whole tomatoes in tomato juice
2 C of chicken stock
1 TBSP dried basil
1 tsp salt
1/3 C of heavy cream
1/4 C fresh basil, julienned
1/2 C parmesan cheese, finely grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Once warm, cook garlic in the oil for 1-2 minutes to let the flavors bloom.

Add all the tomatoes. Add the whole tomatoes one at a time, squeezing each one into the pan to break them up.

Add chicken stock, dried basil, and salt. Stir to combine, and simmer the soup gently on medium heat for 20 minutes.

Pull off the heat. Puree soup with an immersion blender until all the tomato chunks have become smooth.

Return sauce pan to the stove. Stir in heavy cream and julienned fresh basil. Simmer until heated through.

Stir in Parmesan cheese and adjust salt and pepper to taste before serving.

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