It’s the dead of winter, but I am craving tomatoes. I have a full-on tomato jones going.
Best way to fix that is with this tomato soup, made more fanciful by calling it bisque. A bisque (say it bisk) is a rich, smooth, creamy soup often made with shellfish, and thickened with said shellfish including the pulverized shells. Well, this one is rich, creamy, and has a roux to thicken it, but is sans shellfish.
That’s OK. It’s plenty flavorful without them. (Although now that we’re thinking about it, it wouldn’t kill you to strew a few shrimp on top if you want to.)
This is far more than simply the sum of its parts. It’s truly shockingly delicious, in all the right ways.
Recipe: Sweet Tomato Basil Bisque
Summary: Rich, packed with tomato goodness and just the right touch of creamy sweetness, this is tomato soup of the Gods.
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion (about 12 ounces), peeled and finely chopped
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled crushed tomatoes
- 3 teaspoons dried dill weed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 6 cups low-fat, low-salt chicken stock
- 5 tablespoons honey
- 3/4 cup half-and-half or cream (or a mixture of both)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Pinch kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Garnish: finely chopped fresh basil
- In large soup pot, melt butter. Over medium heat, sauté onions in butter, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Onions should be translucent but not brown. Add flour and stir; it will look a bit pasty. Cook and stir for a minute or two until the paste (called a roux), begins to brown slightly.
- Add tomatoes, dill, oregano and stock. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add honey, cream and parsley and return to a boil. Taste, add salt and pepper to season, and serve.
- Garnish with a shower of chopped basil if you like.
- Makes about 13 cups. Serves 6-8, depending on appetites.
- Store in refrigerator. Leftovers are even better the next day. And the following day.
Source: Thanks to high school friend Andy Alexis for the inspiration for this recipe.
You can easily make this vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6-8, depending on appetites
Culinary tradition: USA (General)