Tuscan Tomato Basil Bisque

Garnished with fresh pepper

Definately one of my favorite soups. And, I love this soup served with grilled cheese sandwiches or any half sandwich. Happy lunching.

2 tablespoons butter or extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, with liquid (or Fresh quartered tomatoes roast at 400 degrees for 30)
1/4-1/2 cup roasted garlic tomato paste
2 cups vegetable or organic chicken or vegetable stock
2-2 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced (Roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes)
Salt and ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 to 1 1/4 cups nonfat half-and-half or nonfat yogurt or cream
Several dashes of Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce

In a large saucepan, saute onions and garlic in butter or oil over medium-low heat until soft and golden. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, roasted butternut squash, salt, pepper, basil and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Partially cover and simmer for about 30-35 minutes, or until squash is fork-tender. Puree the soup in a blender, then pour back into the saucepan. Stir in nonfat half and half or yogurt, splash in the hot pepper sauce, and taste for seasoning. Heat the soup, but do not boil, then ladle into bowls. Garnish with sliced basil leaves or minced parsley.

Equally good served chilled on a hot summer night or hot on a cold winter day.

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