3 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
6 celery hearts, chopped
1 large sweet red pepper, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped coarsely
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon pepper
Fresh basil leaves for garnish
Sauté the red pepper, celery, garlic and onions in butter until tender. Add undrained tomatoes, tomato paste and bay leaf & bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 min.
Remove from heat and discard bayleaf. Stir in basil, salt, pepper and sugar.
Place half of the mixture in a blender and puree. Slowly add the heavy whipping cream.
Pour bisque back into pan, combine and heat without boiling. Pour into bowls & garnish with fresh basil leaves.