Friday, October 14, 2011

Simple tomato bisque

I've been trying out new things in the kitchen lately. I knew there was a culinary enthusiast in me and in the past few months she's really begun to show herself. Yesterday I was tired so I planned an easy dinner of grilled cheese and tomato soup. But basic tomato soup sounded boring and plain, so I decided to spice it up.

I've never made a tomato bisque before, but from what I understand it has a tomato and cream base, so I began there. I bought some cheap generic condensed tomato soup and instead of adding a can of water, I added a can of half & half. In hindsight that was too much cream, so next time I think I'd do 3/4 can of half & half and 1/4 can of water.

I went out to our garden and picked some tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced them, and added them to the soup. Then I chopped some fresh basil (~2tbsp) and oregano (~1tbsp) and stirred that in. My plan was to include some roasted red pepper (the jarred variety, not the best but it was all we had and it does the job) but I realized we were out. However, roasting red peppers is very easy, so next time I would do that and have fresh peppers in the bisque. Finally, I added about a tbsp of paprika, kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. The end result? SO GOOD. Normally the grilled cheese is the star of this meal, but this time the bisque stood out by far.

This is one that I will definitely be repeating, especially with the cold weather arriving. I love making soups, stews and bisques. Your favorite recipes for those are very much welcome here.

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