#1,760 Grandaddy + Pumpkins + Tabella Soup.

After church, we headed to Collins to celebrate Ben’s grandaddy’s 82nd birthday with almost the whole Napier clan, which merited a group photo of every person who is a blood relative of grandaddy’s… Plus Ben’s mama who got trapped in the corner minus Sam, Jared and Ellie who couldn’t make it:

Afterward, we hurried back home to prepare for… Ben’s last Pumpkin Patch Party. Today the truck came from Jackson with all of our pumpkins on board, and every year we have a pot luck soup supper and everyone helps set up the patch.

And I think I finally have tweaked Robert St. John’s roasted tomato soup recipe to the point it tastes almost exactly like his restaurant version from Tabella (our all time favorite restaurant and date spot)—and I took that to the party. Y’ALL.

As a lover and explorer of tomato soups, I am pleased to report that this is the only tomato bisque recipe you will ever need. I promise. It’s the texture that wins so much with this one—with every bite full of little pulpy bursts of tomatoey/creamy/garlicy/oniony goodness. As you can see, I paired mine with extra buttery homemade garlic croutons, but we all know that a grilled cheese would be the best option possible if you’re just eating it at home. Go ahead and pin this one, gals:

Tabella Roasted Tomato Soup

Ingredients (this makes enough for one big crock pot):
2 yellow onions
1/4 cup FRESH garlic minced (almost 2 whole garlics) jarred will never do
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. basil
1 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. pepper
6 oz. tomato paste
32 oz. chicken stock
4 (28 oz.) cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes (or 8 of the 14.5 oz cans)
1 bay leaf
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar

So here’s what makes this bisque so special… The sort of ‘roux’ you make for the base, which is the secret to all the bold flavor.

1. Heat your olive oil in a pot, sautee the onions and garlic for about 8 minutes on medium high heat stirring frequently.

2. Add in all the seasonings, sautee another 6 minutes.

3. Add the tomato paste, stirring constantly until it caramelizes—about 5 minutes. DON’T LET IT BURN! Once it’s a thick, fragrant paste I remove it from heat and transfer it to my crock pot.

4. Pour in the chicken stock and all the tomatoes.  Stir together, drop in a bay leaf, then let it simmer on low for several hours.

5. About an hour before serving, remove the bay leaf, and add the cream, sherry vinegar and sugar. Puree until smooth with a stick blender (I had to go buy one of these just for this recipe—but SO worth it), then let simmer for the last hour.

Serve with grated parmesan and croutons or focaccia bread or grilled cheese or literally any other greasy bread. It is good. You will love it. Everyone will.