There’s a restaurant by campus that makes the best tomato bisque soup. When I was teaching a class around lunch time, I would swing by once or twice a week and get this very delectable treat. The problem with having had such easy access to this soup was that once the semester was over, I started to crave it. Badly. So, rather than spend $50 a month in gas money driving to and from the restaurant, I set out to duplicate the recipe as best I could. After numerous incarnations (I was eating tomato soup and grilled cheese for weeks during the expiremental phase), I finally got it so close that I can hardly remember what the original tastes like. And now I’m sharing it with you. I know, my generosity astounds me as well.
Ok, here are the ingredients: Can of roasted tomatoes, celery, onion, carrot, garlic, vegetable/chicken broth, bay leaf, basil, heavy cream/half and half.
After you veggies are chopped (about 1 stalk of celery, 1 carrot and 1 small onion), we’re going to put about 1/2 cup of olive oil in the pot over medium-low heat and saute the onion, carrots, celery and garlic until softened (about 10 minutes). You want them to look like this.
Next we’re going to add our fire roasted tomatoes (I cut them up as I add them to the pot), chicken broth, 1 bay leaf and 2 tablespoons of butter.
Simmer an additional 15-20 until veggies are really tender. While it’s simmering, I’m going to go ahead and chop my basil.
Once 20 minutes have passed, I’m going to throw in my basil and add a 1/2 cup of half and half. (Heavy cream would probably be better, but I never have it on hand whereas I always have half and half for my coffee).
Now, we’re going to use this nifty handheld appliance. It’s an immersion blender (you immerse it in liquid and blend) and it’s really useful for smoothing soups.
If you don’t have one, don’t stress. Just pour your soup in a blender, make sure the lid is on nice and tight, and puree it for a couple of seconds. I happen to be married, which means that someone gave me this as a wedding present.
Ok, so the key to the immersion blender is to make sure that it is actually immersed completely, otherwise you’ll have a lovely mess on your hands. (Is anyone counting how many times I’ve used the word immersed?)
Once you’ve finished blending, you are ready to eat. Doesn’t this look simply delish? Notice the little bits of basil that add lovely basily flavor to every single bite.
The good news around here is that the Irishman is not a tomato soup fan. Weird, I know, but that means that I get the entire pot to myself and really, little in this world makes me happier than tomato soup and grilled cheese.