Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Make It Homemade: Tomato (Bisque) Soup

I recently discovered the delicious perfection of Nordstrom Cafe's Tomato Bisque Soup. They serve it with a crispy bread covered with melted Parmesan cheese. The combination is sublime. If you didn't know Nordstrom's has a cafe, you should definitely go! But be forewarned it's pricey so it is usually reserved for a Girl's Day with my mom and sister.

The first time I ate Nordstrom's soup, it reminded me of a tomato soup recipe I had made a few years ago when I was first married. I did not know at the time that my new husband was not a fan of tomato soup, or at least of tomato soup from a can. We both really liked the soup, but I did not like pour hot soup in to the blender! Luky for me, I have since purchased an immersion blender at a yard sale so I can now make this soup without the danger of dumping boiling liquid all over myself.

I made a double batch of the soup and cooked it through the blending phase. I then removed half the soup to cool and freeze. When I take it out of the freezer, I'll let it thaw, warm it up, add the milk or creamer and serve. Since I've not yet actually eaten the frozen portion, I can't vouch that it works, but I don't see why not!

I also think you could easily add in some pureed carrots for extra goodness and a pinch of nutmeg would be an interesting addition.

Tomato Bisque Soup
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced (I really like shallots in this if you have any)
2 garlic cloves, diced or crushed
1 Tablespoon Sucanat (or brown sugar)
2 1/2 pounds of tomatoes, diced and seeds removed
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup of half and half, heavy cream, evaporated milk, or milk (or enough to make a "bisque")
Salt to taste

Melt butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium to medium high heat. Cook onions and garlic until soft and brown. This will take a while -- around 15 minutes or more. Add in sugar and allow to melt. Add tomatoes and broth and bring to a low boil. Turn down heat and allow to cook for 45 minutes or until tomatoes are soft. With an immersion blender, blend the soup (or transfer in batches to a blender or food processor). Add in milk product. Serve (it's super yummy with croutons and a bit of cheddar cheese on top).

Adapted from the book Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

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