I discovered "Bisque" is a term for a richly seasoned, creamy, thick pureed soup normally made using shellfish, but can also be made using vegetables.
Another tomato soup I often make is Tomato Blue Cheese, especially when my garden is producing summer tomatoes. But if fresh tomatoes aren't available, canned tomatoes work well enough.
This offers a hearty, flavorful soup -- it's a meal by itself. Most often, I serve it with a salad for dinner, or have by itself for lunch.
The Brasserie’s (famous) Tomato Bisque with Croutons and Cheese
16, 1/2- inch thick French bread Baguette slices (or store-bought croutons)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes with puree
3/4 cup tomato juice
3 Tabs. tomato paste
2 Tabs. golden brown sugar
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1/2 Tab. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 cup whipping cream
2 cups chicken stock, or canned low salt broth
4 to 6 oz. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Thin slices of Provolone cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bread slices on heavy large cookie sheet. Brush both sides of bread with oil. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over low heat. Add half of chopped tomatoes, all chopped carrots and celery and half of chopped onion; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and saute 2 minutes. Mix in crushed tomatoes, tomato juice, tomato paste, sugar and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Cool tomato mixture slightly. Puree in batches in a blender or use an emulsion wand. Set puree aside. Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining chopped tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, parsley, oregano, basil and thyme and saute until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.
Mix in pureed tomatoes and cream. Soup will be thick. Add enough stock to thin to desired consistency. Cook until heated through, stirring frequently. Can be made a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate soup. Store croutons in a plastic bag at room temperature. Rewarm soup.
Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into 1 to 1-1/2 cup oven proof soup bowls. Top each with two baguette croutons, or several commercial croutons. Top with mozzarella and provolone cheese. Broil until soup bubbles and cheese melts, watching carefully, about 1 minute. Serve hot. Makes 8 -10 servings.
Estimated cost $7.20 or less; $.90 cents a serving or less.