Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Harvest Bisque

It's that time of year again and this is the first Harvest Soup.  See this post for my "technique", which I really made up after seeing a similar picture on a facebook post.  I thought to myself, "Hey! I can do that!" and I did.  I've made it half a dozen times and every time it's a little bit different because of the veggies added and because I don't use a recipe.  But it's never bad.  I've been using chicken stock for the liquid now and I no longer fill it full of liquid, like the original post.  I put as many veggies into the pot as I can, then add liquid about 2/3 of the way.  The veggies begin to soften and condense immediately so there is more than enough liquid.

I don't know if you've had the Tomato Bisque at Brio, but my youngest loves that soup.  We also had a stellar one on vacation last year.  This Harvest Bisque is as close as I've come to either.  It's actually easy to do and everyone in my house raved about it.  LOVE when that happens.

What's the difference between Tomato Soup and Tomato Bisque you are asking...  Well as near as I can tell it's cream.  The cream gives the soup an orangey color and (no pun intended) a creamy texture.  You can add as much or as little as you like, I think.  Everybody has definite opinions on cream.  Very volatile topic. But, it's undeniable the benefit of adding it to soup.  I just choose to add enough to get the benefits, but not so much as to end up with a white soup.  I ended up using just less than a cup in a pot with 12 servings in it.   Will the soup stink if you skip it? Not a chance.

Here is the beauty of this soup, you get to make it the way you want.  Put in the veggies you like, skip ones you don't.  I recommend adding carrots because their sweetness balances the acidity in the tomatoes.  I do wait to add salt or pepper until after it's simmered a couple of hours and been blended (with the stick blender).  There is salt in the stock and you just can't know if it will need any more until it's had a chance to condense.  The only seasoning I put it are a couple of bay leaves until after it's blended.  Then you can take it any way you want by the herbs you put in.  It is also great to package by one or two cup measures in zip bags and freeze.  You can add these to spaghetti, chili or a clearer soup, like minestrone.

By the way, every time I reach into the cupboard and pull out one of the new dishes I'm tickled.  They are cute and fun and happy and make the food look better!  Nerdy I know.  Definitely, one of my most favorite things to come from the whole kitchen remodel.

If, like me, you are harvesting by the tonnage these days, give the soup a try.

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