Once all the soaps are on the rack and curing, and the 400+ tubes of lip balms have been labeled, banded, and portioned off to go to their respective customers, it’s time to whip up some edible concoctions as the nights turn chilly and we want heartier fare. Yet, as I create soups and one-dish meals, I can’t quite give up the light, bright, fresh flavors of summer; I just warm them up a bit with certain herbs and spices.
We warmed up with tomato basil bisque this weekend, accompanied by grilled cheese sandwiches, because, really, can it get more comforting and warm than that? I had a few parts of this recipe prepped already from last year’s canning extravaganza, which made it a bit easier to throw together. It’s full of fresh or frozen veggies, basil fresh from my garden, and zesty Italian spices.
I started with frozen tomatoes I had leftover from last year, sliced some fresh onion, and used fresh organic carrots (naturally much sweeter than conventional) that I sliced very thinly. The tomatoes were very juicy, so I added some powdered dehydrated tomato peel to the liquid to thicken it and increase the tomato flavor with a POW! At the end of all this, I hit the whole concoction with an immersion blender to make a lovely creamy soup with a little texture to it.
2 T. butter
1/2 cup onion
1 cup shredded carrot
2 T. flour
1 cup milk (or half-and-half)
Quart of chopped tomatoes, skinned
1/2 cup powdered dehydrated tomato skins
1/2 tsp. salt (add more as needed)
1/4 cup basil
1 T. Italian seasoning
Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add chopped onion and shredded carrots. Cook 3-4 minutes until soft. Add flour, a little at a time, stirring it in until it’s absorbed. Gradually stir in milk; let mixture cook for two minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, salt, and Italian seasoning. Let cook for 15 minutes. In small batches, blend soup using either an immersion blender or a conventional blender, processing until mostly smooth. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.
*My frozen tomatoes had a LOT of liquid when I thawed them, so I poured out a cup of the liquid (there were 1 1/2 cups total) and gradually added 1/2 cup of dehydrated, processed-to-powder tomato skins to the liquid, stirring after each addition. I let this sit for 3 minutes before adding it to the thickened mixture. This ratio made a good sauce and increased the rich tomato flavor. You can dry tomato skins in a food dehydrator, oven, or microwave; there are some great instructions online.
Doesn’t that look amazing? I was so pleased with this, and best yet, I have one more quart of tomatoes in the freezer, so I can make it one more time. If you want the juicy nutrition deets on this soup, you can find them here. (There is one little error in the recipe; it only makes 4 servings, where I’d put 5 in the one I submitted at Spark Recipes.) It’s a bit of work, but so worth it! Enjoy!