SEATTLE, April 28, 2013 — This is a very easy to make bisque (creamy soup) that will keep you and your friends and family warm on the inside while giving your tastebuds very good “therapy”.
- 8 Roma tomatoes – cut in half lengthwise
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup of fresh basil
- 5 strips of thick-cut bacon (I prefer the Hempler’s natural bacon)
- 3/4 cup of heavy cream or half-n-half (if you prefer less fat)
- 32oz of Organic chicken stock
- 3-4 cloves of fresh garlic
- 1-teaspoon of red pepper flake
- 1 medium white or yellow onion
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh cracked pepper
- *Optional: 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda to help cut down on the acidity
After you get the tomatoes cut into halves, lay them out on a sheetpan, season with the kosher salt and pepper – then drizzle each with some of the olive oil. Roast in the oven at 400-degrees for 45-minutes or 20-minutes if you have a convection oven.
I use kitchen shears to cut the strips of bacon into small pieces and render those down on medium heat until cooked. After you get the desired doneness, pull the bacon and set it aside, but leave the drippings.
Add the onion, thyme, garlic, and red pepper flake and then season with salt/pepper. Allow to sautee until nice and carmalized.
Pull the tomatoes from the oven and place into the stock pot along with a bay leaf and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer and cook that way for 30 minutes. This is also the time to add the baking soda, if you so choose.
After 30 minutes, add the cream and basil, then use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. You can use a standard blender if you do it in small batches (*warning, blending larger batches of hot liquids can have undesirable, scalding results). Blend until smooth.
Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil and the bacon.
This can be served with a toasted cheese sandwich made using American Cheddar on a nice pugliese bread. Paired really nice with a 2010 Hartford Court “Four Hearts Vineyards” Chardonnay.