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Recipe: Best Evar Tomato Bisque

In the past two years of experimental cooking, we’ve learned that simplicity is key to Good Flavor. Leave it to the Froggie chefs to bother with sauces that require 97 ingredients and 12 years of simmering, we haven’t the time or energy to sod around with that sort of thing. (Plus that would kind of suck the reason out of dropping $300 at the Froggie Restaurant, wouldn’t it?) Nope, simplicity is our kitchen’s graven idol. Take this Best Evar Tomato Bisque, for example. Here are the ingredients:

2 lbs ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded (or 3 14oz cans of diced tomatoes)

1 small onion, finely chopped (or if your husband is allergic to them, as mine is (*sob), 4 tbsp dehydrated onions)

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 bay leaf

2 tsp fresh basil, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried)

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 cup milk

1 pint light cream

In a heavy, deep saucepan (I love my Calphalon for this), saute the onion in the butter until golden and fragrant. Add the tomatoes and all the dry stuff. Simmer for about 25-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.

Remove the pot from the heat, fish out the bay leaf, and attack the soup with your stick blender (carefully, dammit, it’s hot). You’re aiming for a pretty fine texture, bisque should have a smooth mouthfeel.

Return the pot to the heat and add the milk and cream. Bring the soup back to “hot,” stirring constantly so Nothing Bad Happens. Serve immediately, garnished as you like…top with a bit of grated Italian cheese (something mild, forgodsakes), croutons, mozzarella toasted French bread rounds, etc. etc.

We had ours with grilled cheese sandwiches (which sent our 10 year old son into raptures), but it’d go well with bruschetta, or any old sandwich, hot or cold. We even have a plan to leave out half the cream and milk and turn this recipe into a pasta sauce…imagine it on penne with sundried tomatoes and garlic sautéed shrimp. (*drool*)