By Duane Pemberton
©2012 Duane Pemberton
I absolutely adore a good, homemade tomato bisque – even more so when the weather up here in the Northwest starts to turn cold and wet – that’s when we turn to the comforting “superpowers” of soups.
This is a very easy-to-make bisque (creamy soup) that’ll keep you and your friends and family warm on the inside while giving your tastebuds very good “therapy”.
- 8 Roma tomatoes – cut in half lengthwise
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup of fresh basil
- 5 strips of thick-cut bacon (I prefer the Hempler’s natural bacon)
- 3/4 cup of heavy cream or half-n-half (if you prefer less fat)
- 32oz of Organic chicken stock
- 3-4 cloves of fresh garlic
- 1-teaspoon of red pepper flake
- 1 medium white or yellow onion
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh cracked pepper
- *Optional: 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda to help cut down on the acidity
After you get the tomatoes cut into halves, lay them out on a sheetpan, season with the kosher salt and pepper – then drizzle each with some of the olive oil. Roast in the oven at 400-degrees for 45-minutes or 20-minutes if you have a “convection oven”.
I use kitchen shears to cut the strips of bacon into small pieces and render those down on medium heat until cooked. After you get the desired doneness, pull bacon and set aside, leaving the drippings.
Put in the onion, thyme, garlic and red pepper flake – season with salt/pepper. Allow to sautee until nice and carmalized.
Pull the tomatoes from the oven and place into the stock pot along with the bay leaf and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a slow simmer and cook that way for 30-minutes. This is also the time to add the baking soda if you so choose.
After the 30-minutes, add the cream and basil, then use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. You can use a standard blender if you in small batches (*warning, blending larger batches of hot liquids can have undesirable, scalding results0 – to a blender and blend on high until smooth.
Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil and the bacon.
I served mine with a toasted-cheese sandwich that I made using American Cheddar and a nice pugliese bread. Paired really nice with a 2010 Hartford Court “Four Hearts Vineyards” Chardonnay.