Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tomato Vegetable Bisque - A Beautiful Thick Hearty Soup

There's a chill in the air.  And that means soup!

But, despite the look, this is a thick veggie filled bisque.  The difference is that a soup will have intact vegetable slices, while a bisque will have the same vegetables, but everything is ran through a food processor, leaving a thick pulp filled liquid (almost a semi-liquid).  It is a slight stretch to call this a bisque, as it has no actual cream in the ingredient list.  I dollop a bit of sour cream on the top justifies my ...

Tomato Vegetable Bisque!

It is very simple to make.  When served for a dinner party, it is also very easy and time management wise to make in advance.  I made mine the day before the party, kept overnight in the fridge and warmed three hours before the party in a crock pot.  Time efficient, as well as burners on the oven efficient.

Here's what I did...

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

Onion quartered
4 stalks of Celery, rough cut
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)!

I took several photos of the process to give you an idea of what i am talking about (and the easy way to peal a tomato)

That last shot was the bisque held up with a slotted spoon... This is NOT just a tomato soup!

This was the soup course of my Luxury 7 course dinner party.  Next up was a new recipe for me...

Blackened Shrimp, with a Fennel/Anise Jelly on a bed of roasted red Pepper Polenta!

But, that's a post for tomorrow!

And more courses to follow this week... We are half way through the Party!



  1. Great idea to use a crockpot for one course when entertaining. The thick bisque sounds delicious..especially with all of the other veggies hidden within.

  2. I love my Crockpot! In post tomorrow includes the use of one. I love the way this bisque looks. Thanks for the recipe! And you're right...the Crockpot is perfect to use when you're entertaining.

  3. Your photos keep getting better and better. This bisque is really worth a try. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  4. Looks like a healthy cold weather meal.

  5. Give me a huge bowl of this and some bread please!

  6. anyday..anyday..cold,rainy, warm, this is a soup for every heart and every day and every occasion. Lovely

  7. That looks amazing and OH so healthy! I have all the ing. I think I'll try this tonight for my dinner... Hubby isn't home so its perfect for me! I"ll let you know how mine comes out...
    Thanks Dave!

  8. This soup looks luscious. Maybe this weekend at the lake. Perfect smell to go with pine.

  9. Soup is definitely an awesome thing to serve because you can make it beforehand and then just rewarm it later on! This tomato soup looks fantastic. Just the thing to warm my soul.

  10. That looks really tasty, especially with the Parmesan cheese on top ;)!

  11. Yer hilarious! Your personality comes out in your blog. I absolutely love love tomato soup - it was my choice for my very first post. Keep em coming!

  12. Top 9! Congrats, Dave! Great recipe and step-by-step photos, which are always appreciated and not an easy thing to include. Well deserved. :)

  13. The peeled tomato trick is one of those that the first time you do it, you say to yourself, "How easy is THAT!? And why haven't I been trying that before now?"

  14. Looks wonderful! Nothing like a thick tangy tomato soup after a brisk walk outside :)

  15. Nothing like an excellent tomato soup ... with a grilled cheese sandwich! Total comfort food! This recipe looks chock-a-block full of vitamins and minerals! just what we need at this time of year!