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Recipe: Seriously Better Tomato Bisque

The original recipe is here.  Below you will find our new favorite version, borne out of my inability to accurately detail the ingredients Husband needed to pick up on his way home from work…


  • 2 14oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb whatever tomatoes you have lying about on counter or in your freezer
  • 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
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 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.   Realize you’ve told Husband to pick up TWO cans of tomatoes instead of THREE.  Raid the freezer for the array of cherry and plum tomatoes you put away back when the tomato plants were actually producing, and not blighted sticks. (If your non-can tomatoes are rock-hard frozen like mine, don’t even bother cutting or peeling – because you can’t – just fish the skins out of the soup after the simmering is all done and before blending.)

Simmer for about 25-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Be doing something else, and pretty much forget about the tomato mixture for a bit, until it simmers down and loses most of the liquid.  Say “shit” and fish about in the pantry for chicken stock.  Add 2 cups.

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.  Then add the milk and cream.  Taste.  Realize it’s now too thin and go back to the pantry for more tomatoey flavor.  Add 1 8oz can of tomato sauce.

Return the pot to the heat and bring the soup back to “hot,” stirring constantly so Nothing Bad Happens.

Taste and smack yourself for not using chicken stock before now.