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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fire Roasted Tomato Bisque

I seem to be going through a red soup phase.  Last week it was red lentil, this week it's the tomato bisque...what's next?  Gazpacho? Roasted Red Pepper?  Hmmm.  I'm also pretty bored with my 'soup photography'. I mean, how many bowls of soup can you look at?  How do you make a bowl of soup look interesting?

Fire roasted tomatoes seem like one of those faddish things like calling everything pomegranate or chipotle.  Ah, well, the tomatoes taste good, so who am I to judge?  I think the Muir Glen brand are nice and as you can see, I got $1 off for buying two cans! This soup is super easy (pun intended). 

I served it with a salad and cheater foccacia made with whole wheat pizza dough from Trader Joe's.  If you are trying to do a Meatless Monday, this meal is a good bet.  The soup would also be nice with some grilled cheese sandwiches, like gouda or mozz and basil or something. Okay, as Burning Pasta would say, let's get to it. You need:

2 14 oz cans fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1 14 oz can chicken stock
1/2 large onion, diced
1 T. butter
1 T. oil (olive or veg is fine)
1 T tomato paste
1 t. anchovy paste
1/3 - 1/2 c cream

Sweat the onion in the oil and butter over med-low heat until translucent.  At this point you can add a crushed garlic clove or two if that's your thing.  As we've established previously, I am lazy so there is no garlic in mine.

Add the two cans of tomatoes, the can of chicken stock and another half can of water.  I usually swirl the chicken stock in the tomato cans to make sure I get all of it into the soup.  Add the tomato paste and the anchovy paste.  Stir. Bring to a boil and reduce to a pretty active simmer (medium heat) for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  You want the flavors to meld and for it to reduce and thicken ever so slightly.  At this point, remove from heat and grab that immersion blender. (I told you you'd want one). You don't want this super fine, but blend to your liking.  Then stir in the cream.  Return it to low heat for five minutes and add fresh ground pepper and sea salt to your taste.

A note on anchovy paste.  Anchovy paste brings a brightness and complexity to lots of things other than caesar dressing, so I highly recommend you keep a tube in your fridge at all times.  I like to add it to soups and pasta sauces among other things.  Other tubes you should keep in your fridge are of course tomato paste and pesto (gasp! yes, pesto).

Easy-peasy.  This is a pretty standard soup formula that could be adapted lots of ways.  Ideas?

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