During the winter months, I make lots of different soups and stews. When it’s cold outside, it just warms my body and makes me feel good all over. Add a cake of cornbread and I have a delicious meal on the table.
In my garden, I grow lots of basil and it’s usually full grown and ready to be harvested in August. I like processing basil with extra virgin olive oil and freezing it for those winter soups, stews and different tomato base sauces. Here’s a link on how I do that. But for this post, I want to share my Tomato Basil Bisque recipe that I made over the weekend. Smelling basil as I was picking it then processing and freezing it, made me in the mood for this delicious bisque. It’s so quick and easy that during the time that my cornbread is baking, I can have it ready to serve. I like pouring this over hot open-faced buttered cornbread. Oh my goodness! When the bisque soaks into that cornbread, it’s heavenly!
Here’s how I make it.
Tomato Basil Bisque
If I have fresh or frozen tomatoes out of my garden, I’ll use that as my base and put a hand blender to it to crush the large pieces. That’s what I did here. Otherwise, I’ll just use a large can of crushed tomatoes from the store and it’s ready to go. Super convenient!
In a 3 quart sauce pan, heat the crushed tomatoes over medium heat.
Add the extra virgin olive oil,
The fresh basil (or 1 frozen ice cube of basil with extra virgin olive oil)
I keep basil mixed with extra virgin olive oil in my freezer. I find it the best way to add “fresh” basil to any winter dish. Ice cube trays are a great way to freeze them so you know how much to add to your soups and stews. I actually measured my ice cubes with water and they hold about 2 Tablespoons. Not all ice cube trays measure the same, so check yours before making the cubes. Here’s my post on Freezing Basil.
And salt. Stir and bring it back to a hot simmer. Cook for 5 minutes to get that basil flavor going on in the tomatoes.
Add the chicken broth, (want to make this vegan style? Add vegetable stock instead! It’s equally delicious!)
And cream, bringing it back to a simmer and cook for another 5 minutes.
Depending on how smooth you want your bisque, do a quick run around with the hand blender. Not totally necessary, just sometimes I like it a little smoother.
Gradually add the shredded sharp cheddar cheese and stir until it’s all melted. I find that it does better melting a little at a time. Turn off the burner and let it rest until your cornbread is out of the oven.
A little note about shredded cheese. If you’ve read my other posts with shredded cheese, you’ve probably already heard me talk about buying block cheese and shredding it yourself as opposed to buying it already shredded in those zip top packages. But this is one of those recipes that I can really tell the difference in how it melts. Buying the block and shredding it yourself will definitely produce a smoother and creamier texture. Just saying.
And here you have a fabulous and yet simple bisque.
What is your favorite bisque?
Here’s the printer friendly recipe: