Sunday, April 7, 2013

Punxsutawney Tomato Bisque

This tomato bisque is one of my favorite summer day recipes and I usually serve it cold.  Thanks to a groundhog's epic fail, we are stuck in perpetual winter.  I made this and served it warm and it was delicious, though not quite the gazpacho-feel it normally has.  Hence, the groundhog spin on this summer classic!

  • one 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • one 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes (I use diced to create a bit of texture when I puree the soup---if you don't like tomato bits, you can use 2 cans of crushed)
  • 4 C chicken stock (one 32 ounce box)
  • 1 C half and half
  • 1 C sour cream (plus more for garnish)
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh dill (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled (about 10-12 cloves)
  • 4 T extra virgin olive oil (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1/2 t red pepper flake
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Add 4 T olive oil and whole garlic cloves to a large sauce pot over medium high heat.
  2. Tilt the pan to create a "deep fry" environment to ensure the garlic browns evenly.
  3. Once the garlic has come to a rich golden brown color, add the red pepper flake.
  4. Slowly and carefully add the two cans of tomatoes (stirring will help prevent it from spattering).
  5. Add the dill and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat to low.
  8. Using a hand blender, puree the bisque to desired consistency (as noted above, I like to leave the diced tomatoes in bits to create texture in the bisque). If you do not have a hand blender, you may ladle the bisque into a blender and carefully blend 1/2 blender full at a time--pulse to prevent it from exploding out of the blender, you will have to place it in a third container until it has all been blended, and then return it to the sauce pot
  9. Add garlic powder and onion powder.
  10. Slowly whisk in the half and half.
  11. Place the sour cream in a small bowl and add one ladle of the bisque to temper (this will prevent the sour cream from curdling in the hot bisque). Stir well and add to the bisque.
  12. Cover and simmer on low for at least one hour, stirring occasionally.
  13. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of fresh dill and drizzle with a few drops of olive oil. This goes perfect with a grilled mozzarella, bacon and avocado grilled cheese on Italian bread.
  14. If you are so inclined (and many of us here on the east coast probably are at this point), add some fried groundhog to the bisque.  But I do not condone the actual cooking (or consuming) of groundhog.  I'm just really miffed that Phil was so wrong this year. ;)