With the cooler weather around the corner, the sound of comfort foods are starting to entertain my mind and stomach.  Last night I made an attempt to make some homemade tomato bisque soup with a nice green salad and french bread on the side.  I make a lot of homemade soups, but never tomato bisque.  It is one of my favorite soups so I thought I might try my hand at it.  After all was said and done, I thought the soup came out wonderful and what I would call “a do-over”.  I found the recipe on the Food Network’s website (they have some wonderful recipes there!).  Below is the recipe, however, if you want a printable version, here is the link to the recipe.

Tomato Bisque:

Prep time – 15 min.

Cook time – 45 min.

Serves – 4-6 appetizer servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced bacon (about 1/2 ounce)
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 1 carrot – chopped
  • 1 celery stalk – chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups chicken broth (homemade or low sodium)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes (with liquid) roughly chopped
  • 3 parsley sprigs
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until crisp and most of the fat has rendered, about 1 minute.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.  Lower the heat to medium, add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook, covered, stirring occasionally until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes.

Stir in the flour and cook, stirring for 3 minutes.  Pour in the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil while whisking constantly.  Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the pot.  Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

When the soup base is cool, remove and discard the herb bundle.  Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.  Using a sieve over a large bowl, strain tomato puree.  Return the puree to the pot and reheat over medium heat.

Whisk in heavy cream and salt into the soup and season with pepper to taste.  Divide among warm soup bowls and serve immediately.

As a personal side note, I did not use heavy cream (I used 1/2 and 1/2 which worked just as well and fewer calories).  I also did not use a blender to puree the soup, but used a hand held immersion blender which was easier.  If you have one, you may want to use that instead.  You also may want to adjust the amount of salt.  I used the recommended amount, but it may be a bit salty for some tastes.  I also added a bit of my own personal flair and toasted some pine nuts to sprinkle on top of the soup.  I also added a bit of crumbled gorgonzola cheese to the bottom of the bowl for a nice added surprise.

If you do decide to try out this recipe, let me know how you like it and any other variations made to it.

Have fun and bona petit!

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