Our favorite, “go-to” meal whenever we visit the Disneyland Resort is the Jolly Holiday Combo from Jolly Holiday Bakery Café. If you don’t know what that is, it consists of a wonderful grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of their spectacular Tomato Basil Soup. It’s a classic combo that is comforting and delicious at the same time. It also is one of the best deals you’ll find for a meal at any Disney Park.
Since we love the soup so much, we decided we wanted to have it at home from time to time. Unfortunately, we all know Mary Poppins never explains anything. That includes her recipe for this delicious soup, which, we assume, is kept somewhere deep within her famous carpet bag. So I’m sharing our “copy-cat” recipe for the Tomato Basil Soup from Jolly Holiday Bakery Café with you.
Away we go!
If you like simple recipes that you can whip up in about an hour, then this recipe is perfect for you! It doesn’t have a lot of ingredients and, since we are using canned tomatoes, it cooks pretty quickly. Better yet, everything within our Tomato Basil Soup recipe will either already be in your pantry or easy to find within your local grocery store.
- If you want to take the extra time, you can make this dish with Oven Roasted Whole Tomatoes and it’s delicious. I just decided to share a simpler version of this recipe that you can whip up on your average week night. If you’d like to go the Roasted Tomato route, just take about 3 lbs of Plum Tomatoes and toss them in a little bit of Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper. Roast them for about 25 – 30 minutes at 350ºF and use them in place of the Diced Tomatoes.
Also, if you’d like to make this dish completely vegetarian, you can use Vegetable Stock instead of the Chicken Stock. If you’d like to go fully vegan, you can also replace the Half & Half with Coconut Milk.
You will have to do some work to get this recipe together but it will be a bit simpler than you might expect. To get this soup started, you only have to cut up the Onions and the Garlic. So, there isn’t that much prep that goes into it. Also, you will eventually be blending this soup so you don’t have to make your cuts too small or too perfect. A rough chop and mince will be just fine.
Everyone into the pool…err…pot
Time to get everything cooking. Begin by placing a large pot over medium-high heat and add a little Olive Oil. Throw in the Onion and sweat until they just become somewhat translucent. Next, add the Garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until it becomes fragrant.
Add the Tomato Paste to the pot and mix to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes.
Now, add the Diced Tomatoes, Chicken or Vegetable Stock, Oregano, Sugar, Salt, Pepper and Bay Leaf and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.
Next, it’s time to purée our Tomato Basil Soup to get it to the creamy texture you know and love. If you happen to have one, a stick blender is the easiest way to do this because you can do it right in the pot. However, a traditional blender will also work fine. You’ll just have to work in batches and transfer the blended soup to a different pan.
Whatever blending tool you use, the first thing you’ll want to do take the pot off of the heat. Remove the Bay Leaf and add the Half & Half and Fresh Basil.
Now, blend away until the soup is completely combined and smooth. If the mixture is a little thicker than you like, you can add a little more Chicken or Vegetable Stock to thin it to your preferred consistency.
Season to taste with Salt, Pepper and/or Sugar and keep warm until ready to use.
Serve it just on its own or make it a true Jolly Holiday Combo and add a toasty, delicious Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
This soup will brighten up any rainy day and warm your soul on any chilly day. The Tomatoes are bright & acidic, smoothed out by the richness provided by the Half & Half which also brings a lot of depth to the dish. As you’d expect, the Basil complements the Tomato perfectly, bringing a nice freshness and herbaceous touch to the soup. Finally, you get the sweetness from the Sugar and a little bite from the Pepper.
It’s an absolutely lovely and comforting dish that would even make Mary Poppins smile.
Tomato Basil Soup from Jolly Holiday Bakery
Makes approximately 8 servings
- 1 – Yellow Onion – Diced
- 5 – 6 cloves – Garlic – Minced
- 2 oz – Tomato Paste
- 1 cup – Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 2 – 28 oz cans – Diced Tomatoes
- 1 tbls – Dried Oregano
- 1 tbls – Sugar
- ½ tbls – Salt
- 1 tsp – Freshly Ground Pepper
- 1 – Bay Leaf
- ½ cup – Half & Half
- ¼ cup – Fresh Basil – Chopped
- Salt, Pepper & Sugar – To Taste
- Place a large pot over medium-high heat with a little Olive Oil. Add the Onion and sauté until translucent. Next, add the Garlic and cook until fragrant; 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the Tomato Paste and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Then, add the Diced Tomatoes, Chicken or Vegetable Stock, Dried Oregano, Sugar, Salt, Pepper and Bay Leaf and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour
- Remove the pot from the heat and take out the Bay Leaf. Add the Half & Half and Fresh Basil. Purée until smooth with a stick blender or in batches in a conventional blender. If the soup thicker than desired, you can thin it with a little Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- Adjust the seasoning, as desired, with Salt, Pepper and/or Sugar
- Keep warm until ready to use. Serve in a cup or bowl with a couple of sliced Fresh Basil Leaves
Be sure to check out our other Disney Dishes