Thursday, 24 March 2011

Bacon, Tomato & Basil Bisque

With the recent and alarmingly sudden return of Old Man Winter yesterday I felt the need to make a meal for my family that was hearty and warmed our bellies. In our area we had 20cm of the white stuff dumped on us overnight. Needless to say we weren't impressed especially since we had had our bikes out last week and were enjoying seeing an inkling of spring!

Personally, I adore soups so I looked in my pantry and fridge to figure out a new recipe. I had some bacon to use up and a butternut squash just begging to be used. Now, I'm not new to this whole 'feeding the little humans' kind of thing. I know that my Mini Me's would revolt (and potentially draw and quarter me) if I served butternut squash to them and they found out. So I have to resort to a little culinary covert operations to get said squash into my spawn. "I'm hiding the veg because I love you, my darlings."

After some deliberation and a total lack of desire to head out to the food store, I came up with this bisque with the ingredients that I had on hand. Bisque is just a fancy name for a thick, creamy & rich soup that usually contains seafood but can be vegetarian as well. I like calling this soup a bisque because it meets most of those requirements but the word 'bisque' glams it up a bit! I'm but a simple girl - it's the little things that thrill me.

Well, it was a hit with 80% of my family (there's always at least one naysayer in the group, right?). It met a lot of our family's "good meal" criteria. We got a hint of bacon which makes Brad 'King of Bacondom''s day and I was able to hide a few veggies in the soup (thank you immersion hand blender!) which made MY day! As for the little humans? They got homemade bread to dip in said bisque. Give my kids a carb and you'll have a friend for life!

After dinner when I told 7 year old Missy Moo that there was butternut squash in the soup she had just finished her eyes widened and she said "But I don't like butternut squash!". As if by eating said squash she had gone against some kind of child constitution of knowingly eating healthy veggies. Will she be punished by her fellow little humans for consuming illegal veg? Do they have an official tribunal that hands out veggie punishment? Who knows. All I know is that I really enjoyed this soup and it tastes even better the next day! Enjoy!

1 medium butternut squash (approximately 1 1/2-2 cups of cooked squash)
4 slices of bacon, diced
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1 cup carrot, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (19 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup half-and-half creamer

Peel squash and cut into 1-inch cubes. Steam squash until tender (or you could microwave it or bake it at 350F for about an hour). NOTE: This step can be done ahead of time and kept in the fridge until needed.

In a large pot, cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Cook the onion and carrot in the bacon drippings until the onions are soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for one minute.

Place squash, onion mixture into a blender and blend until smooth - depending on the size of your blender you may have to do it in two batches. Add tomatoes (undrained) and bacon to the blender and continue to blend. If the mixture is too thick add some of the chicken broth to thin it out. Pour this mixture back into the large pot and add the remaining chicken broth, salt, sugar, basil and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Heat over medium-low heat until the soup is hot. If your soup is still a little too chunky (like mine was) use an electric hand immersion blender. Add the half-and-half and heat soup until hot but don't let it boil! Serve immediately with homemade bread.

From: The Baking Bookworm
Yield: 4 servings


Katie said...

What a great recipe! It sounds delish on this cold Sunday afternoon :) I wanted to thank you for following my blog! I really appreciate you reading about my life and now I am excited to read more about you..101 things in particular! :) Thank you again and I hope you have had a wonderful weekend!!


Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Hi Katie! Thanks for coming over to my blog! I adored some of your DIY crafts and plan to give them a go. I have an inner crafter in me ... I just have to bring her on out! I need to make your Book Letters for above one of my many bookcases. Love that idea!

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