Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


What’s cooking for Lent: Tomato Basil Bisque from Ignatius House

Published March 7, 2014

ATLANTA—Sitting high atop a ridge along the Chattahoochee River is a sacred place of quiet and peace. Inside the doors are the sweet and savory smells of whatever’s cooking in the kitchen.

Chef Lake Dawson

Chef Lake Dawson

Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center, located near Sandy Springs, provides retreats and days of spiritual renewal and is the perfect place to come for refreshment of spirit, mind and body. The head chef, Lake Dawson, manages the kitchen staff and plans all the meals. With over nine years’ experience in Atlanta area restaurants, Chef Lake enjoys serving the retreat community and he and his staff are always present at meals, ready to serve the guests of Ignatius House.

This Lent, he graciously agreed to share one of his Lenten recipes, Tomato Basil Bisque, with readers of The Georgia Bulletin.


1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes (with liquid), roughly chopped

1 (28-ounce) can filled with water

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup fresh basil, chopped

1 cup heavy cream

1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes.

Pour in the tomatoes and water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the water has been cooked out by three/quarters. Remove from the heat.

Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth (or use an immersion blender). Return the puree to the pot and reheat over medium heat.

Whisk in the basil, heavy cream and salt into the soup and season with pepper to taste. Divide among warm soup bowls. Serve with golden toast points or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Serves 6-8.