My recipe for Tomato Basil Bisque breaks a lot of the rules when it comes to soups. I like clean, fresh tasting soups that burst with flavor. And I personally think that the addition of chicken broth, celery and onions otherwise muddies what is a BEAUTIFULLY clean and pure flavor where the tomato shines. So I submit by version of the Tomato Basil Bisque.
(1) 6 oz. can of tomato paste
(2) 28 oz. cans of whole tomatoes
(18-24) fresh basil leaves
(1) Pint heavy cream
(2) Tablespoons butter
(3) Cloves garlic, crushed
(2) Shallots, minced
(1) Teaspoon Olive Oil
(taste) Salt and pepper
1. In a 4 quart saucepan, combine the butter and olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add the shallots and garlic. Saute’ until the shallots become translucent.
3. Add the tomato paste and stir. Mixture will become thick.
4. Open and drain 1 can of tomatoes. Then add to stockpot with second can of tomatoes along with juice from second can.
5. Bring mixture a boil then reduce heat. Continue to simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
6. Place mixture in a blender or use an immersion blender until smooth.
7. Pour mixture through a sieve and return to low heat.
8. Reserve 3 basil leaves and chop the rest finely and add to the pot.
9. Add 3/4 of the pint of heavy cream to the saucepan.
10. Continue cooking uncovered until reduced by 1/4 and the soup coats the back of a spoon.
11. Remove soup from heat.
12. Chiffonade the 3 remaining basil leaves for garnish
13. Lightly beat the remaining heavy cream. Do not whip to peaks! Cream should be thickened but still liquid.
14. Plate soup in a wide bowl, add a bit of cream to the center of the soup and garnish with fresh basil. Add croutons if desired.