Let me start by saying that this Tomato Bisque might just be my favorite soup of all time! I have loved it for years, but never attempted to make it myself until now! Once upon a time I lived in Utah, and there was the most magical restaurant that ever was…. Cafe Zupas. Oh how I loved Zupas. They have the best soups and salads. I moved about seven years ago, and have missed it dearly. Now fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I went on my backpacking trip in Utah. We drove into Utah and had a very short amount of time to eat lunch before getting on the trail. It was my chance to get Zupas! I would even get it to go to save time. Well… I walked in and there was a super long line, and my dreams were crushed! It was right there, and I couldn’t get it! (yes, I am slightly dramatic at times) The whole next week, I couldn’t get Zupas out of my head. I needed that soup, especially after I had smelled it! So I did a little research and found out what makes the soup so amazing, pesto! It makes so much sense now! I have never loved tomato soup, but this is not your ordinary tomato soup. The taste and texture are perfection! And good news, it made a TON! You could totally freeze a bunch, or share it with your friends like I did:) I have already decided this will be my soup I bring to my next soup swap party!
Ok disclaimer, I added a little Orzo pasta to each bowl, because that’s what they do at Zupas. No, it’s not whole wheat, but I had to do it! A little goes a long way too! Another great thing about this soup is how filling it is. You won’t need more than a serving, and you won’t feel bad about eating too much creamy goodness.
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- 2 cups or 4 oz package fresh basil
- 1 cup slivered almonds ( I usually use pine nuts for pesto, but almonds are soo much cheaper)
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 cups olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 6-7 stalks celery
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 5 cans stewed tomatoes (if you can tomatoes use four quarts)
- 1 quart heavy cream (yes that's a lot! But this makes a LOT of soup)
- 1 box Orzo pasta (I cooked it 2 minutes less than it instructed because I figured it would cook in the soup as well)
- For the pesto, add the basil, almonds, parmesan cheese, garlic, oil and salt to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
- In a crockpot add celery, onions and butter. Mix until onions and celery are coated with butter.
- Add oregano, stewed tomatoes, and pesto. Stir.
- Cook for 8-10 hours.
- After it is cooked. Puree in batches in a food processor or blender. Return to crockpot or large bowl, and add whipping cream. Stir well.
- *optional (but so good) add a spoonful of orzo pasta.
- Freeze some for later if desired.
Recipe adapted from: itsthelife.com