i've gotten really into tomato bisque lately. if it's on a menu, i am more than likely to order it. throughout my tomato-bisque-eating escapades, i've found the nuances of tomato and bisque really run the gamut. some soups have been beyond thick, as in, there must be so much whipping cream, butter and love in this that it definitely could have been spread directly onto my thighs with the same results. some where the spices just seemed off, dill? really? or more of a brothy-tomato soup with chunks of tomato that was sort of ehhhh in my humblest opinion. however, what all the soups had in common is what they lacked. heat. i wanted a tomato bisque with a subtle kick that went along with the frontal presence of tomatoes and creamy, thick consistency. i set out my quest for this soup yesterday afternoon, scouring the Internet for recipes, none of which exactly fit my parameters. after some tweaking, some healthy substitutions and tomato explosions covering almost every inch of our entire kitchen; the soup was ready, tasty and just right for a crisp december evening in with hubby.
start out by melting 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a medium-sized saucepan. once it melts down add about 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic and one minced shallot. let the onions and garlic soften for a good 5 minutes.
once soft add your star:
these are really delicious, but any 28ounces can of peeled, whole tomatoes will do. add the whole can to your soup pot. you'll also want to add 2 cups of chicken broth
along with your spices of course:
1/2 teaspoon each herbs de provence, parsley, thyme, basil (unpictured) and crushed red pepper flake to taste. it does pack a punch and isn't for everyone, but i definitely added a good 1/2 teaspoon:) *don't ever forget salt and pepper: a good 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
give the soup a good stir, let it come to a boil, lower to a simmer for about 40 minutes. at this point i probably should cooled the BOILING liquid for a few minutes. but, no, no; i have zero patience. so i poured the entire contents into the blender and about 1/4 of the BOILING soup splatted all over the kitchen and myself. the walls, the cereal boxes, the kitchen, the spice bottles, the floor, the fridge, the outside of the blender, etc, etc, etc, ad nausem were painted a brilliant shade of tomato red in exactly two seconds. it was actually pretty impressive....
the good part was, since it was so hot, that two seconds was enough. the soup was very smooth indeed. it went back into the soup pot on low heat and i added another star which i'm sorry to say i forgot to photograph. that star is fat-free half and half. have you had ff h&h? because if you haven't, you should, because it's delicious. and made the tomato soup into a tomato bisque faster than the blood bath of tomatoness that had occurred earlier. velvety and creamy smooth. it's also fat free, unlike most of the soup recipes that call for whipping cream. hello liquid fat, how's it going? this is ff h&h and we're gonna kick you out of this recipe. peace out my mofos.
however, not really thick. so another pictured ingredient and relatively new addition to my kitchen. cornstarch people. what a genius idea. i added 1.5 teaspoons of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water to a bowl, mixed until smooth and then added to the soup. gave it a good stir and within about 5 minutes it was just right. amazing.
oh yeah and action shot of me taking my sourdough grilled cheese for a cannonball-style jump into my tomato bisque.....
Recipe: Tomato Bisque
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 shallot, minced
28 ounces can whole tomatoes
2 cups stock (I used chicken)
1/2 tsp herbs de provence
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp red pepper flake
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup ff half and half
1.5 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water
-melt butter, add garlic, let soften on low, don't burn
-add shallot, let soften 5 minutes
-add tomatoes and broth, bring up to a boil
-add spices. let simmer 30-40 minutes
-working in batches, blend soup in miniprep or blender till desired consistency. *be careful with hot soup, it will expand and end up all over your kitchen.
-return soup to pot, add half and half, warm soup to medium heat
-mix corn starch and water together in a separate bowl, then add to soup
-stir to combine and enjoy with your favorite grilled cheese. mine had extra sharp chedda of course!