December already?! This is crazy. With the year coming rapidly to an end, I’m gearing up for the busiest part of the semester – exams are imminent. This is no time to skimp on the brain food.
As I bravely battled the sniffles on a wintry evening, I knew what was needed; soup. Not the canned stuff, though. You’ll never go back after you learn how easy it is to make this creamy tomato and asiago bisque. In twenty minutes, you’ll be dining in style with a bowl of steaming, gourmet bisque with warmth spreading down to your toes. Enough said? No? Well keep reading, then!
I strolled down the aisles of a beautiful little market with fresh Ontario grown fruits and vegetables. Despite never having a particular hankering for tomatoes in my life, I was drawn to these deliciously red, plump tomatoes. The only thing I like tomatoes in is soup or pasta sauce – and I generally take the lazy cook’s attitude with both by buying the good quality canned sauce/soup when I’m running low on time. Not this soup. Only the freshest ingredients for this one!
Am I a cheese snob? I don’t think so. I like shredded Tex Mex as much as the next person. Nacho cheese? Yes please! But there’s definitely a difference in taste and texture when you spring for the smellier, more expensive cheese. I went all out and bought a big ol’ wedge of asiago cheese. And boy, was it worth it!
Making this soup has been somewhat of an educational experience – I don’t make it often. Let’s distinguish between chowder, and bisque. Chowder is a soup that has chunks of the ingredients left unblended. Bisque (my favourite) is a fully blended/pureed soup that is creamy and smooth. Plus, it just sounds fancy!
- 5 ripe tomatoes, diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1-2 heaping tablespoon chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ cup grated asiago cheese
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream (whipping cream), plus more to garnish (can substitute with Greek yogurt for a healthier alternative)
- Chop 5 tomatoes into small pieces and stir in a saucepan on medium heat until the juices from the tomato start to bubble
- Let the stewed tomatoes cool slightly and then puree in a blender or food processor and set aside
- In a pot, heat the butter (or equivalent amount oil for healthier results) and brown the minced garlic
- Add in paprika, onion powder and pepper and stir until garlic is aromatic
- Pour in the blended tomatoes (should be the consistency of a smoothie) and mix well
- Add in chicken broth and chili pepper flakes and increase the heat slightly and stir until the soup starts to bubble
- Melt half the grated asiago with the soup and stir, and then add in tomato paste and whipping cream or Greek yogurt
- Let the bisque simmer for a few minutes, make sure all the ingredients are well combined by stirring periodically
- Garnish with more cream, if desired