I have made all of these recipes myself. I always try to show the original source of the recipe, but am constantly editing them to suit our tastes (so technically they should all say "Adapted from..."). The portions are generally small since my family doesn't consume much food in one sitting.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tomato Bisque (Mel's Kitchen Cafe)

Wow! This goes down as one of the best soups I've ever made! Everyone in my family loved this! I served it with some amazing cheese bread given to me by a friend. Hmmm... need that recipe! I stewed my own fresh garden tomatoes, which felt extra-awesome, and I'm certain added to the taste. I had a huge butternut squash, and froze enough to make 2 more batches of this soup. I can't wait! Thank you, Mel's Kitchen Cafe for this recipe!

Update: 3/6/13. I have to give this a 5-star rating! Every time I make this, I'm amazed at the taste. I used canned stewed tomatoes (plain, and added Italian seasoning) and it is still amazing. Served it in bread bowls this time. Y U M !!!

20-90 minutes.

1 medium butternut squash (for ~1½ c cooked squash)

1 Tbsp butter

¼ c finely diced onion

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 can (14.5 oz) Italian-style stewed tomatoes*
1 c chicken stock or broth
 (I used 1 cube chicken bouillon and 1 c water from the squash pan)
1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp dried basil

1 c nonfat half-and-half
 (½ c cream, ½ c skim milk)

Prepare the butternut squash by preheating the oven to 350°. Cut the squash in half, lengthwise, so you have 2 long pieces. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from each half. Place both sides cut-side down in a 9x13” pan. Add enough water to come about ¼” up the sides of the squash. Cover with foil and bake for about an hour. Test with a fork to make sure the squash is very tender when pierced with the fork in several places. If the flesh doesn’t easily give, continue cooking in 10 min increments, and testing again, until the squash is tender. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the squash to a large cutting board or plate. Let it cool ~15 min before scooping out the flesh. (If preparing the day before, scoop out the flesh and place in a container. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until using it in the soup.) Scoop squash into the blender.

While the squash is cooking, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter and sauté the onion until soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Scoop the onion/garlic mixture into the blender with the squash.
Add the tomatoes (undrained) and chicken broth to the blender. Process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the blended mixture back into the saucepan and add the salt, sugar, basil and cream. Stir to combine well. Heat over medium-low heat until the soup is warm (but don’t let it boil or simmer to avoid the cream curdling). Serve immediately. Excellent with cheese bread, grilled cheese and/or hot sauce.

*or stew your own tomatoes from fresh tomatoes: 5-6 tomatoes, blanch (cook in boiling water 1 min, drain, pour into ice bath), remove skins, core, seeds and excess juice, dice. Put into pot and add ½ Tbsp butter, ½ tsp salt, pepper, ½ tsp sugar, 1½ tsp Italian seasoning. Simmer 30 min.
*or 1 can stewed tomatoes with 1½ tsp Italian seasoning

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