Monday, September 6, 2021

Healthy Soup...Featuring Tomato-Basil Shrimp Bisque #healthy2021 #tomatobasil #healthysoup #shrimpbisque

 

Labor Day is the official end of Summer...although we won't see truly cooler temperatures here in Texas for several weeks. I love soup year round...but when the weather turns cooler, I crave comforting soups! This year, I'm starting early so I can retool some of our favorite soup recipes to meet my new healthy eating goals. Today, I'm sharing a revamped version of Tomato-Basil Shrimp Bisque that features a double dose of basil, fire-roasted tomatoes, and Texas Gulf shrimp in a creamy base. This bisque is ready to eat in less than an hour...and it tastes fabulous! To reduce fat and calories in this bisque, heavy cream is replaced with a combination of reduced-fat cream cheese and plain unsweetened almond milk. I promise the end result is indeed creamy and full of flavor!

Tomato-Basil Shrimp Bisque
adapted from Cooking Light
Ingredients (makes six servings):
  • 2 TBS basil-infused olive oil  
  • 3 TBS finely diced onion 
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 28-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes 
  • 6 TBS reduced-fat cream cheese 
  • 2 cups plain unsweetened almond milk 
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock 
  • 2 TBS garlic-infused hot sauce [NOTE: I use Tabasco Garlic]
  • 2 pounds peeled and deveined raw medium shrimp
  • 1/8 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley 
Directions:
Step 1: Boil a dozen shrimp for garnish and store them in the fridge until you're ready to serve the bisque. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and basil (and red pepper flakes, if using). Cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant and the onions are starting to caramelize. Add the diced tomatoes – juice and all – and cream cheese to the Dutch oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cream cheese is completely melted.
Step 2: Use an immersion blender to blend the soup ingredients -- I like to leave a few chunks for texture. 
[Note: if you don’t have an immersion blender, let the soup cool until warm instead of hot. Ladle the cooled soup into a blender and blend before returning to the Dutch oven to continue cooking. HOT soup closed in a blender container can explode and cause a huge mess...and burn injuries! 
Add the almond milk, chicken broth, and shrimp to the soup mixture. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer – stirring every few minutes – until the soup is heated through and the shrimp are pink and completely cooked. At the very end, add the flat-leaf parsley. Stir well to combine.
Step 3: Ladle an equal amount of the bisque into six soup bowls. Just before serving, place a couple of the reserved cooked shrimp in the center of each bowl. 
This bisque is incredibly delicious! The layered basil flavor shines through nicely, and the fire-roasted tomatoes contribute a slightly smoky background flavor. Despite having no cream, this bisque is definitely silky and creamy...without being overly rich. The combination of light cream cheese and almond milk results in a creamy -- yet light -- soup. 

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