A few years ago my family and I went to the Medieval Times restaurant/theatre and I tried tomato bisque for my first time. Up to that point I had never liked tomato soup of any form but from then on I lovvvvved it. I've been planning to make some tomato bisque ever since but I never seem to have all the ingredients in the house at the same time and so it's been about a thousand years now..
Since it's Autumn :)... I've been thinking about making some type of delicious soup and yesterday I reduced the price a whole bunch of different kinds of soup at work. I picked up a few cartons of this V8 Herbed Vine-Ripened Tomato Soup and thought I would see if I could make a good tomato bisque by taking a shortcut and using the soup to start off with. After looking around at different recipes on the web I couldn't find one that was quite what I was looking for so I made this. It's easy and quick to prepare, and it's delicious...
Time-Saving Tomato Bisque
preparation time: about 10-15 minutes
cooking time: 10-40 minutes (depending on whether you choose to let it simmer or not)
(overall this dish can be made very quickly if you want to get it on the table or you can let it simmer and get all kinds of flavor if you have the time or are waiting for other things to finish cooking!)
-one medium Spanish onion
-2-3 cloves garlic
-1-2 tbsp olive oil
-500 ml carton V8 Herbed Vine-Ripened Tomato Soup (or something similar)
-1 cup half & half or 35% cream
-½ can diced tomatoes, with the juice
-1/3 cup chicken stock (optional)
-½ teaspoon each of dried or fresh basil, rosemary, paprika, salt (I used a grinder of roasted garlic and sea salt which was very tasty)
-mince/dice onions and garlic as finely as possible
-heat olive oil in large pot
-add onions and garlic and sauté until browned (about 5 minutes)
-add V8 soup, cream, tomatoes, and chicken stock to pot
-when the mixture is hot add in herbs and spices and turn to lowest heat, simmer for 30 minutes (or you can eat it sooner if you want this to be a quick dinner!)
The longer you leave it the more flavor it will have but it was already very flavorful as soon as it was hot enough.
There are a number of things you can add to the bisque for extra flavor. Try chopping up a few slices of bacon, or dicing celery and carrot and adding it in with the mixture. Croutons, parmigiano reggiano, and sour cream are some popular ways to garnish your bowl. If I do it again I will add a little more cream, probably half a cup, and leave out some of the rosemary. Try out some different versions and let me know how you like it!
Enjoy! Happy Autumn :)