Sweet and Creamy Tomato Bisque
I haven’t always been a fan of tomato soup. All those early years, where I’d only take a bowl as “dip” for a grilled cheese sandwich…well, those years are behind me. It wasn’t until I was deep into adulthood that I tasted the offerings of a simmering pot of homemade tomato soup. But better late than never, because now that meal is something I look forward to, plan for, even crave.
This Sweet and Creamy Tomato Bisque recipe is a product of two very memorable tomato soup experiences:
- A couple years ago, my friend Jennifer served warm fragrant bowls of tomato bisque for lunch, to celebrate another friend’s birthday. It was stunningly delicious, with a scattering of beautiful fresh dill. And that recipe has been gracing my family’s favorite soup rotation ever since.
- Then last summer, while traveling to meet up with family in South Dakota, I had a cup of another tomato bisque that also got my attention. It was chunkier than Jennifer’s version, full of chopped fresh tomatoes, red pepper, and onion. And it incorporated even more tomato-y sweetness from the addition of sun-dried tomatoes. That bisque read just a bit more hearty, slightly less dainty.
This tomato bisque recipe is rooted in the memorable lunch that Jennifer served to her girlfriends, and beefed up enough that my husband goes back for seconds and thirds. It’s sturdy, sweet and creamy, and full of different levels of tomato goodness. Blake’s a serious soup guy, so when I hear several positive comments about a new soup set before him, and watch him repeatedly fill his bowl…I know my job was done well.
Sweet and Creamy Tomato Bisque
Yield: 10 servings
1-1/4 lbs. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. unsalted butter
2 T. olive oil
1/2 c. finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
1/3 c. chopped fresh parsley
2 T. chopped fresh dill
1/2 T. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 T. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 c. all-purpose flour
6 c. low sodium chicken stock
2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 c. honey
2 c. half and half
In a stock pot over medium heat, sauté tomatoes, onion, pepper, and garlic in butter and olive oil until onion is soft and translucent. Add sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, dill, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook for a couple minutes. Sprinkle flour over the mixture and stir until flour is absorbed. Cook for one more minute. Slowly add the chicken stock while stirring the mixture in the pot, to avoid lumps. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, and stir to combine. Turn heat up just a bit, to medium-high, and cook until bisque thickens and just starts to boil. Then turn heat down to medium low to stay warm until serving. About 10 minutes prior to serving, stir in honey and half and half. Let bisque become thoroughly heated again before serving.
Inspired by a fresh tomato soup I ate last summer, and adapted from a tomato bisque recipe served by my friend Jennifer Reinhard.©
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