After making countless batches of delicious, fresh salsa and storing up jars of homemade ketchup, what else to do with the last of these jewels of summer? Now that the days are shorter and the nights are deliciously crisp, how about a nice, comforting bowl of creamy tomato bisque (a.k.a. Jeremy's all-time favorite soup)? Pair it with a buttery, sourdough drilled cheese sandwich, yes? Let's do this thing.
I used whatever tomatoes I had on hand, which happened to be this:
and it added up to about 8 cups whole & puréed.
The scent of sautéing the aromatic veggies in that bacon grease is some kinda wonderful, I tell you.
It's nice how the pot tells you the soup has reduced by the ring above, don't you think?
So. Chiffonade basil. Such a fancy name for a simple technique. Here's what ya do: roll the fresh basil leaves up and slice them thinly. The end.
- About 8 cups tomatoes
- 4 Tablespoons bacon grease (Just do it. Trust me on this one. Or use butter if it's too much to wrap your mind around.)
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder whisked into 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 quart chicken stock
- Several sprigs of thyme tied together
- 1 pinch (or 2 or 3) red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 4 (or 5 or 6) cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup créme fraiche
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt
- Several fresh basil leaves, cut chiffonade-style (see picture above)
- Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
- Ground pepper (it's such a pretty finish)
- A drizzle of balsamic vinegar (you kinda need this one)
- Purée tomatoes in blender (a high-speed like a Vita-Mix is best) until thoroughly blended.
- Heat soup pot with bacon grease until melted and add onion, carrot, and celery. Sauté until the onions are translucent. Briefly whisk in arrowroot powder/water mixture. It might become gelatinous but it will thin out as you continue with the recipe. Add stock and puréed tomatoes and continue to whisk until it's brought to a boil.
- Turn heat to medium-low and add thyme sprigs, red pepper flakes, and pepper. Keep the top open and allow soup to reduce to about 1/3 (about 45 minutes to 1 hour), stirring occasionally.
- Turn off heat and compost thyme sprigs. If you don't mind your soup a little lumpy, add remaining ingredients, run an emersion blender through it, and you're good to go. If you're like my husband and enjoy the bisque as smooth as possible, you may also want to pour it through a sieve, composting any chunks.