Tomato Bisque

April 6, 2012Katie

This is a grown-up version of Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese.

When my daughter Tori and I would do the dreaded (but effective) P90X work-out tapes during the summer, the Hitler-like Tony Horton always did a warm-up (or cool-down) exercise where you pretend you’re stirring a giant pot of soup. Then he asks his ultra-fit workout buddies what soup they’re eating and always chides them for their answers and suggests instead “Tomato Basil Bisque or Soup”.

By the way, a bisque is just a puréed soup, whereas a soup might have chunks in it.  You can forego the purée part if you prefer a chunkier tomato soup and it’s still delicious!

Well, I have to admit, I love soups, so I set about this weekend to try my hand at a healthy tomato soup. The red and white can just wasn’t doing the trick, so I opted instead for this.

You have to flavor up any soup so today I decided to try my hand at leeks. If you need a tutorial on leeks, please read here on how to clean and chop them.

Put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot and turn the heat on medium.

Chop up two leeks.

Add them into the pot.

Also chop up one onion.

Toss it into the pot as well, then chop up 2 long stalks of celery.  And if you get the leafy part?  That’s okay too – it’s flavor!

Add it in with the leeks and onions and saute for about 5 minutes.

Press in 3 cloves of garlic (or just mince them up!)  And, also add in 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  You really have to season tomato well, please don’t skimp!  Oh yes, and also add one tablespoon of Italian spice.

When the onions and leeks start to look translucent or are maybe browning just a bit, bring out the tomatoes.

Dump in 2 cans of crushed tomatoes. WATCH OUT cuz those suckers splash!  Just ask my pink shirt I was wearing.

Also add in four cups of chicken stock or broth.

This is roughly the equivalent of one box.  If it’s a little off, don’t worry. I am using homemade stock out of my freezer.  And no, I’m not Martha Stewart, I just make it by throwing my carcass into a pot after I buy one of those roasted chickens from the grocery store.  It’s easy!

Stir all of this up real good,  and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

In two separate batches, pour this into a blender and whiz it up until it’s smooth. **WARNING! Make sure you leave the top pour spout uncovered or cover with a paper towel.  Hot liquids tend to “poof” in the blender (thus the 2 smaller batches).

I really need a good blender instead of my smoothie maker.  Recommendations? I want a Vita-Mix but once I saw the price, I needed a pacemaker.

Next, add in 1/2 cup of plain non-fat yogurt, or if you’re the devil, go ahead and add heavy cream, but I am going for healthy here.

Stir it up and watch the color turn from red to a soft orange.  Then, if you want cheese, add in 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan or Asiago.

If you’re going for healthy, just keep it plain.  Top it with some fresh shredded basil.

Or, for a great basil flavor, swirl in some prepared basil pesto.

Which reminds me, there is supposed to be some sort of grilled cheese in this grown-up grilled cheese and tomato soup right?

Take a nice french baguette…any of your favorites will do.

Slice into 1/2 inch rounds.

Spread some prepared pesto on each piece..want to make your own? Here’s how.

Sprinkle on some Parmesan or Asiago cheese. (I had a huge hunk of Asiago laying around).

According to Mr. Wonderful, Asiago cheese smells like dirty sweat socks, but tastes divine.

Go figure.

Pop these into the oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts and begins to just barely turn brown in places.

Chop up some fresh tomatoes and sprinkle them over top and voila!

Grown up grilled cheese and tomato soup (bisque).

P.S. If you’re here for a healthy recipe, please disregard the above stuff involving bread and cheese. If I would have served the soup alone to Mr. W, he would have disowned me as a wife.

Not really.

Well, okay, I meant it.

Katie’s Printable Recipe – Tomato Bisque and Grown-Up Grilled Cheese

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