Nosh, Gobble, Scarf

The Place for the Healthy Foodie and Hurried Chef

Creamy Tomato Bisque (Food Network)

When I ran my beloved Tinkerbell Half-Marathon (at Disneyland in Anaheim, California) in 2013, I did so on behalf of an organization called TAPS (Tragedy Assitance Program for Survivors). The organization assists to help the families of servicemen who take their lives after returning home from duty. I had a fundraiser requirement for the Half Marathon and decided to hold a Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup luncheon to raise money. My coworkers were all former military and I was stunned when I saw that they donated $800. Wow!
Well, I wanted to share the recipe that I used for that fundraiser (and not to mentioIMG_7158n for lunch this week) because it is a winner, and the lightened up version tastes the SAME as the original recipe (from Foodnetwork.com). For you Weight Watchers, the Points Plus are 2 for a half cup and 3 for a full cup, leaving you plenty of points later for a grilled cheese sandwich. The following is the lightened up version that I used yesterday (with the points calculated based on this recipe). Let’s get it done!

Ingredients (lightened up)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Spanish onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups chicken broth low-sodium
1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes (with liquid), roughly chopped
3 parsley sprigs
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
half cup heavy cream
1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

IMG_05641. Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes.

2. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.

3. Pour in the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil while whisking constantly.

4. Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the pot. (I am lazy, and don’t own kitchen twine. I throw everything in separately and fish it out later no problem)

5. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

6. Remove and discard the herb bundle. With a hand blender, puree until smooth (or use a blender if you don’t have a hand blender).

7. Using a sieve over a large bowl, strain the tomato soup. (I always skip this step) Return to the pot and reheat over medium heat.

8. Whisk the heavy cream and salt into the soup and season with pepper to taste. Divide among warm soup bowls, if desired, garnish with the crispy bacon, and serve immediately.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/tomato-bisque-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Some recommendations:

1. Pour in the cream as you puree the soup. Saves you time.

2. Add fresh (or dried) basil and a hint of oregano. Yum.

3. I added some tomato puree that I had sitting around. I don’t think this helped or hindered my soup.

4. Add some bacon to make it magical!

IMG_0623Bisque away!

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