I know what you’re thinking. Soup is the last thing you want to make – let alone eat – when the temperatures are soaring. I hear you.
However, when you are tired of grilling and the crockpot, you might need to shake it up a bit and make some of this soup. (You won’t even have to heat up the oven!)
I love this bisque because it features some of my favorite summer ingredients fresh from the garden or farmer’s market. Basil. Tomatoes. Peppers. Yum! The original version of this recipe was shared by my college roomie Jen. She likes to serve it up on Sunday nights with grilled cheese sandwiches.
Yesterday I had a small group of ladies over, who are going to help me with leading the New Song bible study group this fall at my church. I know food is central to fostering community with this group of women. We all laughed about how silly it seemed to eat hot soup in summer. I cranked up the air conditioning, and then we licked our lips and dug in for more. The ladies insisted I share this recipe. (Chris and Diane, this is for you!)
In Spain, they serve a cold tomato soup called gazpacho that incorporates some similar ingredients. You could serve this bisque cold with crusty bread like gazpacho if you can’t bear the thought of hot soup in summer. Either way, you must try this recipe! It’s great for a crowd.
2 cups celery, chopped (approximately 8 ribs)
2 red pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup butter, cubed
3 cans (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained or 10.5 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes with juice
1 small can (8 oz) tomato paste
4 cups fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons organic sugar
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1. In a large soup pot, saute the celery, onion and red pepper in butter for 5 minutes until tender.
2. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer 40 minutes.
3. Stir in basil, sugar, salt and pepper. Either transfer half of soup mixture to blender and blend or use immersion blender in soup pot to process about half the soup until pureed.
4. Add cream and heat through. (Do not boil.)
5. Garnish with basil leaves.
**I’d love to hear from you? What is one of your favorite summer meals to gather people at your table?