Tomato soup as he knew it – as I knew it – was of the Campbell’s variety. Read: salty, watery, ketchup-y. *Shudder* This soup is thick, flavorful and a bit creamy. Any grilled cheese would be happy to take its place beside it . . . or quesadilla . . . or Asiago garlic bread.
This really IS good food.
Fire-Roasted Tomato Bisque
slightly adapted from Food & Wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (The original recipe has 4 tablespoons of butter. It is not necessary because it is thick and rich enough with 2.)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups water + 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon
Two 14 1/2-ounce cans crushed fire-roasted tomatoes (I use Muir Glen. I am a bit of a hoarder of these.)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream (You could certainly leave this out. It is definitely gilding the lily.)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery and garlic, cover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir over low heat for 1 minute, or until the flour is fully incorporated. Add the water, Better Than Bouillon, tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar and bring to a boil. Cover partially and cook the soup over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 15 minutes.
Transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the puree to the saucepan. Or use a stick blender and puree to your preference in the pan. I like it pretty smooth. Add the heavy cream and cook until the soup is just heated through. Season the soup with salt and black pepper. The salt is key to a flavorful soup. I begin with 1/4 teaspoon, taste, then add more if needed. I typically use 1/2 a teaspoon.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with grilled cheese or quesadillas or cheesy garlic bread.
Luca: A+ (He did say it would be better with a few gnocchi thrown in.))
Alia: A+ (YAY!)