Tomato Bisque Soup - Now that's Good Blog at - 220502

Now that's Good

Tomato Bisque Soup 
Feb. 1, 2011 7:50 am 
Updated: Feb. 13, 2011 7:32 am
Soup is one of my favorite foods.  A local restaurant has really great tomato bisque and I used to buy it every chance I got.  One of the themes of this blog is making restaurant quality dishes that are too expensive or only available some of the time.  This recipe for Tomato Bisque is the latter.  The restaurant is on the same side of town that errands took me to 3 afternoons a week.  So each day I was going to be on that side of town I would call to see if Tomato Bisque was available.  Whenever it was I would buy a couple of quarts (it is that good) and I would be in soup heaven for a few days.  This “system” was working great when they made the soup about every three weeks.  Then they started making it once every 4-5 weeks, then 5-6 weeks and finally once about every 7-8 weeks.  The final blow was that they made it once every couple of months and they always sold out at lunch so none was available by the time I got to that side of town, late afternoon.
The last time it happen was a Friday afternoon.  I thought to myself, I have all day Saturday, I know my way around the kitchen and I am going to make my own Tomato Bisque.  It took a couple of tries to match their delicious soup but I finally got it!  It is rich, creamy and has a wonderful complex depth of flavor.  So if you like Tomato Bisque and you have some time on your hands, make this soup.  I am sure you will say; “Now That’s Good.” 
Tomato Bisque Soup 

4 Tbs of Butter                                                < 6 sprigs parsley
4 Tbs of EVOO                                              < 6 sprigs thyme
1 large onion, chopped                                    2 bay leaves
2 Tbs Real Bacon Bits                                     2 Tbs Fresh Basil or 1 tsp of dry
2 carrots, chopped                                          < ¼ tsp of fresh ground nutmeg
2 stalks of celery, chopped                              ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
6 cloves of garlic, chopped                              ½ cup red wine
5 Tbs all purpose flour
6 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 large cans – No Salt Diced or Whole Tomatoes (can use 2 - 750 g boxes Pomi chopped tomatoes)
2 cups of heavy cream
3 Tbs No Salt Tomato Paste
4 tsp sugar (more or less to taste)
½ tsp black pepper or  to taste
1 tsp salt or to taste

-Heat butter and EVOO on medium heat in large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven.  Add Bacon Bits, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant about 8-10 minutes.  Tie the parsley, thyme and bay leaves together with kitchen twine to make a spice bundle.

- Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes.  Using a whisk, add the chicken broth and tomatoes whisking constantly, continue until mixture starts to boil.  Stir in the tomato paste.  

-Add the spice bundle, sugar, salt, black pepper, basil, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and red wine.  Stir in spices and reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for about one and half hours.  Remove from heat and let mixture cool for about 1 hour.    

-When soup is cool, remove and discard spice bundle.  Working in batches, transfer mixture to blender and puree until smooth.  Using a large sieve over a large bowl or pot, strain the puree mixture.  Return puree to clean heavy bottom pot and reheat over medium heat.  Whisk in heavy cream and heat thoroughly but do not boil.

-Serve with toasted bread, grilled cheese sandwich or crusty baguette.  Keeps well in refrigerator for several days.  Makes about 10 servings.
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Tomato Bisque, Hmmm
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Feb. 1, 2011 8:00 am
Now that looks awesome! Thanks!
Feb. 1, 2011 8:35 am
That does sound very good...unfortunately I'm iced in today and don't have some of the best ingredients.
Feb. 1, 2011 9:45 am
Everything was sounding like "I can do this" until I got to the blender part. My blender hates me. Can I use a hand beater? This sounds so good!
Bud W 
Feb. 1, 2011 10:05 am
Dog Fish, you can use a hand beater or immersion blender. Just try to get it as smooth as possible so you don't lose too much when you strain it. I have never had much luck blending hot food either but if you let it cool an hour and only fill the blender half full you should be fine. It least that worked for me. Good Luck.
Feb. 1, 2011 10:12 am
Thanks for this Bud. It sounds wonderful. :)
Feb. 1, 2011 10:14 am
Bud - question - do you use a fine mesh seive? or I also have one that has a bit bigger holes.
Bud W 
Feb. 1, 2011 10:25 am
I have one of those 6 cup wire mesh seives, it is not super fine, probably has holes about the size of screen on a window. 1/16 inch square maybe? I hope that helps.
Feb. 1, 2011 12:09 pm
Looks delish! I hate it when places have a dish you love and they stop making it. Good to see you around again Bud :)
Bud W 
Feb. 1, 2011 12:36 pm
Thanks Jenwee99, It has been a while. This worked out better. I have to avoid too much salt and their recipe had me wheezing if I ate 2 cups but my version is more sodium friendly. I think it taste better too.
Feb. 1, 2011 12:43 pm
I copied and pasted this and then said DUH? Shorenuff you had it in a recipe version that I borrowed and watched it drift over to my box! Thanks!
Feb. 1, 2011 1:02 pm
Thank you for sharing this, Bud! I LOVE tomato bisque soup and can't wait to give this a try. Yum!
Feb. 1, 2011 8:10 pm
Hi Bud! Don't know if you remember me or not but you have been gone a LONG time. I still have your boursin cheese recipe saved and it's wonderful....back to this. This is very close to how I make my tomato soup and it's an absolute joy to eat a good one. Thanks for posting and nice to see you back.
Feb. 2, 2011 9:49 pm
Nice to see you back, Bud. Your timing is perfect. This soup is perfect during the ugly weather. Thanks for sharing!
Bud W 
Feb. 3, 2011 1:44 pm
Avon and BigShotsMom thanks, it has been a long, long while. I hope I can make it here more often, but I am still covering two facilities.
Feb. 3, 2011 2:57 pm
There is a chain of restaurants called 4B's.. found in Montana, Idaho, etc... they have a tomato soup recipe there that has also reached epic proportions of fans. My Mother has the original recipe.. Your post has inspired me, Bud! Thank you!
Bud W 
Feb. 8, 2011 10:15 am
I made this again last weekend. I think using the Pomi box tomatoes to make the soup, if you have them at your grocery store, is worth it.
Feb. 11, 2011 2:28 pm
This sounds wonderful, except for the heavy cream. (I have to watch my cholesterol.) Is there anything I can use in place of the cream, or am I out of luck? Thanks for sharing your recipe!
Bud W 
Feb. 11, 2011 3:13 pm
Just use milk I would think then. Honestly it is plenty good without any cream at all in it. That would not technically make it a bisque but an awesome tomato soup.
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Bud W

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Born and grew up mostly in West Central Florida. We mostly ate Southern styled food, but we also mixed in Cuban, Creole, Carribean and Soul Food. When I was about 15 we moved to Texas and we added Mexican, Tex-Mex and Southwestern to the mix. Around our house everyone learned to do everything. So, as my Dad like to say, "Man, Woman or Child" you have to know how to cook, clean, wash clothes, fix the car, do repairs around the house and garden enough to get something to eat. Everyone in the house could do just about everything, and was expected too, when it needed doing.
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