Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tomato Bisque

A vivid memory of feeling like a real grown up was when I started ordering Tomato Basil Bisque from La Madeliene. I was twelve and still in the "blue box mac and cheese, burgers or pizza please" way of life, so this was quite the feat. I started to love Tomato bisque until I found out just how unflattering the nutritional label was - 1,800 calories for a cup of soup?!?! Ok, not that many, but way more than necessary for one meal. However, I came across this recipe from a fellow blogger, Gina, and have adapted it just a bit. The best part is that this soup is a whopping 125.8 calories but I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Grocery List:
1 tsp butter (can use olive oil as a substitute)
1 medium onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 - 1 celery stick
3 cloves garlic
30 oz can fresh plum tomatoes, peeled
32 oz fat free chicken broth (can use vegetable broth) - add slowly, possibly not using it all
3 sprigs parsley
10 basil leaves
2 bay leaves (I would advise against using, after having used them)
3 tbsp reduced fat sour cream
Parmigiano Reggiano for serving
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Additional Needs:
Large sauce pan
Food processor

First take your choppables (garlic, onions, carrots, celery), chop them up...

and put them in your food processor. Grind them until smooth.

Melt butter (or olive oil) in a large sauce pan over medium heat, then add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Stir together until soft, about 8-10 minutes.

Next add your chicken broth and your tomatoes, stirring well to combine.

Using a string or rubber band, bundle together your herbs - the parsley, basil and bay leaves - then place them into the pot. Season with salt and pepper, reduce to low heat and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes, covered. (NOTE: I would not use the bay leaves again, I felt they gave a strange taste)

Remove the herbs from the soup and add the sour cream, blending with either a wire whisk or hand mixer until smooth.

At this point, you are supposed to beat the tomatoes while mixing in the sour cream - this did not work so well for me, so we had to improvise and call in the blender.

Once your soup is properly mixed together, return to the pot. I added dried basil and a little bit of milk to counteract a salty tang taste that I feel could have been from too much celery or the bay leaves that I used - don't use the bay leaves.

I also added some red pepper flakes to add a bit of a spice to the tomato bisque. Ladle into bowls and top with the Parmigiano Reggiano!

I served this with a grown up grilled cheese, recipe also posted.

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