This simple, garden-to-table tomato bisque is a standard here at The Olenick House and it can be served as an elegant first course at a gathering or paired with a crisp, garden salad for a quiet, weeknight supper. (I have made suggestions, where possible, for ways to convert this into a vegetarian dish.)
Throughout the growing season, when the air is warm and fragrant and birds are abundant at the feeders, I am forever picking tomatoes from our vines. All different, heritage varieties grow in our humble vegetable patch, which with the help of the bees and other insects, tend to cross-pollinate. I don’t mind that at all. It’s just nature doing its thing.
But, what to do with all of these bright, red gems? Some, I like to share and the rest get canned or frozen for future recipes when Darren and I are at a point, in the depths of a Manitoba winter, when we yearn for the flavors of summer.
Simple, Garden Tomato Bisque
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 cups yellow onions, chopped
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 30 oz crushed tomatoes (From the garden or store-bought)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (Or combine two-parts soy milk with one-part olive oil to make 1/2 cup)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat
- Add onions and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes until translucent
- Add garlic and cook 1 more minute.
- Stir in chicken (or vegetable) stock and tomatoes. (If tomatoes are from the garden, skins should be removed before adding them.)
- Bring to a boil then turn heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes
- Once tomatoes are completely rendered, add salt and pepper to taste. Stir to completely blend in.
- Slowly introduce heavy cream or soy milk and olive oil mixture into the pot, stir again to combine. (As you stir, it will make a lovely marbling effect. When the marbling disappears, all will be combined. )
- Liquify chopped onions in the soup with a hand blender in the pot or process portions at a time in a blender, then return to pot. (If blender method is chosen, be sure to heat the soup through for a few more minutes to ensure an even temperature.)
- Before serving, garnish each bowl with a bit of fresh parsley, a dollop of sour cream or perhaps a few sourdough croutons