If you’re looking for a delicious side dish for your next dinner party, today’s tomato bisque recipe fits the bill. I wasn’t sure, but it turned out to be the perfect addition to my menu. The soup is easy to make and can be prepared a day ahead, then reheated just before serving. It’s yummy by itself, with a little kick from the red pepper and a richness from the red wine. But, add in some bacon, chives, and homemade croutons, and you have a little bowl of scrumptious.
Roasted Tomato Bisque
3 pounds Roma Tomatoes
1/4 C. + 3 TBL. olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 yellow onion, diced
1/3 C. red wine
1 Quart canned, diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. dried ground thyme
1 C. fresh basil
1/2-3/4 C. heavy cream
Optional: chives chopped, cooked bacon, homemade croutons (recipe to follow)
Half and pit the tomatoes. Place in a shallow pan and coat with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. While tomatoes are roasting, place 3 Tbs. olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and diced onion in a large cooking pot. Saute over med-low heat until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add wine and dried thyme and saute 2-3 minutes longer. Pour roasted tomatoes (including skins and juice) into the cooking pot. Add canned tomatoes, fresh basil, and 4 cups of water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 40-50 minutes (or longer). Remove soup from heat. Puree with an immersion blender. Add heavy cream to taste and serve immediately. Soup is especially delicious with chives, bacon, and croutons added. Soup can be stored in a container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. (You can make the soup ahead; do not add cream until you’re ready to serve it.)
Homeade Garlic Croutons
10 slices sourdough bread, set out to dry for several hours
1/4 C. olive oil
1/4 C. melted butter
1 Tbs. garlic salt
1 tsp. dried parsley
2-3 Tbs. grated parmesan cheese
Cut bread into cubes and place in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat bread cubes evenly. Adjust oil/butter so that all of the bread is coated. Spread bread on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. Stir often and check for doneness. Croutons are ready when they are browned and crispy. Be careful not to burn them!! Cool; croutons will stay fresh in airtight container for 1-2 weeks.
Looks good, doesn’t it?
A few tidbits:
Chives are simple to grow yourself in an herb garden or patio pot! Use kitchen scissors to quickly cut chives into small pieces.
Don’t have enough soup crocks to go around for a dinner party? Try your thrift stores – I scored mine for 49 cents each!!
For perfect bacon, chop it into pieces before cooking. Cook in a saute pan on the stovetop over low heat until crispy. Drain on a paper towel before serving.