This week we finally had our first glimpse of fall weather, which inevitably means I start craving warm and satisfying comfort foods. For me there’s no comfort food that can beat a piping hot bowl of tomato bisque served with a golden brown grilled cheese sandwich. It’s unbeatable! 😀
Warm, hearty, and comforting, this early fall soup features late summer vine-ripened tomatoes. While ripe summer tomatoes taste best in this soup, if you don’t have ripe tomatoes available, diced canned tomatoes will work in a pinch.
- 5 1/4 pounds ripe but firm tomatoes, cored and quartered, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 shallots, quartered
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 1 to 2 cups chicken broth, divided
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon basil, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the 3 1/2 pounds of quartered tomatoes, olive oil, light brown sugar, carrots, shallots and garlic, and toss to coat. Season the vegetables lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and roast until caramelized, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and discard. Transfer the tomato flesh along with the rest of the roasted mixture to a large dutch oven and set aside.
Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, crushed red pepper, tomato paste, dry sherry, remaining 1 3/4 pounds of tomatoes and 1 cup chicken broth to the dutch oven and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth.
Add the heavy cream and return to simmer. Season to taste with salt, and pepper. If desired, add more chicken stock until your desired consistency. Sprinkle each bowl with basil before serving.