Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Farmer's Market Tomato Soup... um, Bisque and a Beauty Tip

Dare I say it???

There is a bit of a chill in the air.

Well, it's not 100 degrees anymore, so in comparison.  But the chill is coming, and faster than you might think.  BUT, nothing takes the chill off like a good thick hearty soup... um Bisque.  And take a drive through the countryside.  See all those stands of tomato sellers?  Stop and pick up a bag.  Easy to do and delicious.

And while you are there, grab some carrots, garlic, celery and some basil.  There is more to this than just tomatoes.  Still basking in the glow of the KC River Market (The local Farmer's Market).  If you missed it, I did a photo tour a few days ago (click HERE).

Are we counting?  I am pretty sure every post I have done since returning to god's Country (Kansas), has featured a Farmer's Market find.  And why not?

This is the time.  In just a few short weeks, all the amazing fresh produce will be replaced with... well, just a bit less.  Sure you can get hot house tomatoes in November.  But they are not the same.  Sure, corn is available year round.  But it is not the same.  Burgers, ribs and pulled pork posts are coming.

But for me, this time of year... local, fresh and a great recipe makes my day.

Like this one...

This made 8 servings, but I made a toasted cheese sandwich to pair with the soup bisque.  Probably only 4-6 servings if just the soup bisque.

4 pounds (12 Roma or 5-6 large Heirloom) of Tomatoes
(peeled, quartered and unripe white veins inside removed)

1 Onion quartered
4 stalks of Celery, rough cut
4 Carrots, rough cut
4 cloves of Garlic, rough cut
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 cups Chicken Stock
2 TBS Brown Sugar
1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce 
3 TBS "Not Your Grandmother's Herbes de Provance" (herb mixture, use whatever you like, dill, rosemary, thyme... or, be a cook and make a batch of your own Herbes de Provance and have handy so that you can add this complicated mixture to your own soups easily... but I digress)

A little grated Parmesan Cheese and Sour Cream to garnish!

Removing the skins of the Tomatoes is an easy thing to do.  Get a pot of water boiling, and have a bowl with ice water handy.  Cut an X into the top (not the vine end, the other end) just enough to break the skin.  Plunge them into the boiling water for only 15 seconds.  You want the outside to cook just a shade, but not so hot that the inside starts to cook.  Remove and plunge into the ice bath.  The skin peals easily now.

The Vegetables are going to be pulsed through a food processor (that's what makes this soup a bisque.  Soups have sliced vegetables and/or meat in it, while a bisque has the same ingredients (maybe not meat), pureed to an even smooth consistency).  So no need to do precise small cuts when making a bisque.  Just grab a chef's knife and hack and slash.  It's OK to have some 1/2 inch and some 3 inch cuts.  It all gets pureed in the end.

  • Over medium heat, Cook down the onion, carrots, celery and garlic in the oil for about 10 minutes, till they are soft.
  • Add the tomatoes and again, cook them down for about 30 minutes, till they are completely soft and mushy.
  • Stir occasionally, and forget the flowers.  Take a few minutes to stop, clear your head of the pressures of the day and breath in the oder of the cooking tomatoes and vegetables.  While you are doing that, the steam will be opening your pores and giving you a facial.  That's why the skin on my face is soft and smooth, even though I am still well tanned.  It's like a facial.  But I digress...
  • After at least 30 minutes (longer if your skin is dry and rough), add everything else and mix well.  Allow to simmer for another 5 minutes for all the flavors to mix.
  • In batches, pour into a food processor and pulse till you get the desired thickness.
  • Top with a bit of sour cream and Parmesan Cheese.

Everybody, repeat after me... 

(and my skin is so soft)!

Oh, and BTW, come back tomorrow for a post about this sammy...

It's just a toasted cheese sandwich (well, maybe just a bit more).

I did a post on the sandwich... 

Toasted Grilled Cheese Sandwich -
Gruyere Cheese and Walnut Pesto

See you tomorrow and treat yourself to a tomato soup bisque facial!



  1. This only adds fuel to the fire of my tomato soup craze. I'll have to try this one..I like that there's no milk/cream in it. And of course I can't wait to hear about the sandwich.

  2. Farmer's market tomatoes are so good right now that it makes my spine tingle. In this soup, they must really take the cake! Awesome dish. I love all of your FM finds!

  3. We bought some heirloom tomatoes at the farmer's market last Saturday and now I wish I'd have gotten more...just to try this soup.

    And what's with leaving us with a tease about the next recipe lately. Just give us the sammy recipe already!

  4. aha...lovelt tomato soup...I like the bread too :)

  5. What if you skipped the food processor, left the skins on, and just used a food mill? Would that work as well.. if you didn't mill it too fine.. let the "pulp" come through but not, say, the skins?

  6. My friend in Florida called me crazy when I told him the first hints of fall arrived this week. It's not in the leaves turning or anything like that. You can feel it in the air though.

  7. aggh, hit enter too soon.

    Anyway, I like this soup, Dave. I can imagine how rich it would taste.

  8. That spoonful of bisque says it all. :D Thick and hearty not runny. Great grilled cheese too!

  9. Ooh your farmer's market looks so much more vibrant than mine.
    PS: Love your sandwich!