Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tomato Bisque

I know. I've gone crazy about soup. We literally ate it every day last week. And for lunch too. But this one is fabulous.

2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped,
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup milk
3 cups beef broth
1 (14.5) can tomatoes, whole in juice or diced, seasoned or not, your choice!
1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 bay leaf
Around 1/2-1 tsp. Italian seasoning, basil, or whatever you like to use
Dash nutmeg
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion, celery, carrot, and garlic until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in flour and cook another minute.
2. Whisk in milk, cooking and stirring until mixture is thickened. Add tomato paste, beef broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, bay leaf, Italian seasoning/basil, nutmeg, and salt & pepper. Bring nearly to boil and simmer 20-30 minutes.
3. Remove bay leaf. Pour soup into a blender in batches and blend until it's the desired consistency. Alternately, use a stick blender to puree the soup in the pan.
4. Return soup to pan and heat through. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and basil as desired.

Serve sprinkled with fresh basil, grated Parmesan, or a swirl of cream, and definitely with a grilled cheese sandwich. (You may or may not already know of my undying love for Cabot's Seriously Sharp cheddar.)

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