Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tomato Bisque

Good tomatoes are starting to come out now that it is early summer. Hooray!!! I went and made a great tomato soup from fresh tomatoes for the first time and it was delicious. "Bisque" means it is creamy, but I didn't much cream in this one so that the flavor of the tomatoes could shine through.

Normally for tomato soups, I use stewed tomatoes from a can (which actually works fine) so if it's not tomato season when you are making this, I would go that route. I do recommend finely pureeing this one (leaving not chunks) so, if you are going to use fresh tomatoes, you will need to peel them. I didn't remember this until later, after the picture. Peels just do not give in the blenders well (unless, you have a Vitamix...then they might). The best way to peel tomatoes is to quickly blanch them in a pot of boiling water. That means, drop them in and pull them right back out after 15-20 sec. or so. Cool them slightly and then the skins slide off easily.

Note that I did make this one for only 2 servings.

1 TBSP olive oil
2 large garlic cloves
1/2 yellow onion
1 carrot, diced (or about 12 baby carrots)
4 large, ripe tomatoes (peeled)
2 cups vegetable stock
2 TBSP tomato paste
1/3 cup cream
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
salt and black pepper

Heat olive oil in small soup pot. Add onion, carrot and garlic until they get soft (they can burn easily if you get distracted cutting up tomatoes-so watch carefully). Then add the tomatoes, stock and tomato paste. Bring to a boil.

Cut down heat to only a simmer and add bay leaf and thyme. Cover and allow to simmer for 30 min. Let cool slightly (you don't want your blender to explode) and remove bay leaf and thyme. Use blender to puree to a smooth consistency (hand mixers or immersion blenders don't work well for this one). If your blender didn't do a great job, you also might strain it (I had to do this to get the right texture). Stir in cream. Add salt to taste and top with fresh ground pepper, parsley leaves, and maybe a few shavings of Parmesan cheese.
I can't think of a better way to serve this than with a grilled cheese sandwich and fresh green salad. Yum!


  1. Huh, I'd always wondered what bisque and blanch meant. Thanks! Looks really yummy. And when you say "cream" do you mean heavy cream or sour cream or what? I'm really new at all this. I also totally agree about the grilled cheese and fresh green salad. Mmmmm... it sounds great, especially on a cold rainy day like today.

  2. You can actually use either heavy cream (my preference) or sour cream (what I had on hand when I made it last time). It works fairly similarly.