Simple Garden Tomato Bisque

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  • 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

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