Tomato Basil Bisque

Anyone who lives in Canada has probably tried the Tuscan tomato bisque soup from Safeway. It is a universal truth, it seems to me, that this soup is delicious. So of course I had to find a recipe to make it myself at home, as the nearest Safeway is too far away for me to be bothered. I found this gem thanks to Google, and with some modification, it’s as good as the soup it is imitating. Enjoy!

Tomato Basil Bisque
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
Serves 4

2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 19-oz cans diced tomatoes, with juice
4 10-oz cans tomato juice
1/2 package (4 oz) plain cream cheese
3/4 cup fresh basil, chopped, or 2-3 tbsp basil paste
2 cups (500 ml) half-and-half cream
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste
Lemon juice to taste

Sauté onions and garlic over medium heat until onions a soft. Add tomatoes and tomato juice, simmer for 20 minutes on low heat. Strain tomatoes, and keep juices. Add tomatoes to food processor with cream cheese, and basil if desired. (You can also stir in fresh chopped basil instead of blending it in.) Return to pot with juices and continue to simmer on medium-low heat. Stir in cream until smooth. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Add dash of lemon juice if desired.

Serve with garnish of fresh basil if you want to be elegant. Crackers, or my Simple Biscuits, make a great addition to this soup.

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