Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tomato bisque with tortellini

The other night I looked out my kitchen window and saw a lot of little tomatoes that needed to be picked. I went out and harvested my small tomato bounty and pondered what to do with them. Most of the fruits were 2 inch diameter max, little babies. but there were lots, so I decided to maximize their fresh flavor by turning them into a soup. A bisque to be more specific.

Peeling the tomatoes before cooking them was a no brainer, these skins are tough and really not what I want in my bisque. A quick plunge into boiling water, then into icy water makes peeling them easy. I then browned and deglazed onions and garlic with white wine, allowing it to reduce and concentrate its flavors, which bring out the best in the tomato as well. Simmering the tomatoes with whole herbs allows for the scent and flavor to infuse into the dish with out risking blackened bits of herb in my final product. A quick whirl in my blender renders the once plump tomatoes into a velvety rich soup. Adding the cream at the finish smooths out the tomatoes sharp edge and makes everything heavenly delicious.

Because I had them on hand I decided to add some Barilla 3 cheese tortellini to the soup. When I was a kid my Dad would make us tomato soup with noodles, a can of Campbells soup, a hunk of velveeta melted in and poured over elbow noodles. Let me tell you that was good. Don't knock it until you've tried it. This soup is a more grown up version of that. The use of tortellini is optional but I highly recommend it. It made for a delightful light dinner, paired with a salad. Summertime in a bowl!

Tomato Bisque with tortellini
makes 3 servings
6 to 8 tomatoes, blanched and peeled
2 cups chicken stock
1 sprig basil
1/2 onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1/3 c heavy cream
1 T olive oil
1/2 c white wine
1 small bag of tortellini (Barilla 3 cheese)

Cut an X in the bottom of the tomatoes, just barely through the skin. Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove to an ice bath immediately. Remove tomatoes from the ice water and remove skin with a paring knife. Remove any hard core as well.

In a soup pan heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until they start to brown on the edges.

Once the onions & garlic have browned add the white wine. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan and allow the wine to reduce to about 2-3 T remain.

Crush the tomatoes and add them to the pan. Size doesn't matter here, we'll be pureeing it later on. Add the whole sprig of basil, season with kosher salt and pepper and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Once tomatoes are soft and breaking down add the chicken stock. Simmer for 10 minutes longer. After cooking remove basil sprig and discard.

Transfer the tomatoes and stock to a blender and puree until velvety smooth. Place the puree back into the soup pot and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the cream. Serve with cooked tortellini and fresh grated Asiago cheese.

Nutrition Facts
provided by SparkPeople recipe calculator
Tomato Bisque with Tortellini
Amount Per Serving
Calories 339.7
Total Fat 13.3 g
Saturated Fat 5.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.5 g
Cholesterol 32.4 mg
Sodium 1,415.9 mg
Potassium 769.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 44.6 g
Dietary Fiber 6.2 g
Sugars 2.1 g
Protein 9.8 g

Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople recipe calculator
Tomato Bisque - soup only
Amount Per Serving
Calories 168.1
Total Fat 7.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.5 g
Cholesterol 2.5 mg
Sodium 1,057.7 mg
Potassium 769.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 19.9 g
Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
Sugars 1.4 g
Protein 3.9 g


Jenn said...

OMG, Andrea...that bisque looks amazing! So creamy and smooth and beautiful. I love the addition of the tortellini! And the soup your dad made for you...why would someone knock it? It sounds fantastic too!!! :)

StephenC said...

Alas, we're down to tiny tomatoes, not enough to make a bisque from, but yours looks marvelous.

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

Utterly delectable Andrea. I love love love tomatoes and tomato soup and this looks like a really special, more elegant version. Thanks for sharing!

Design Wine and Dine said...

This looks so comforting and delicious! The Barilla tortellini is our favorite brand! Those tomatoes from your garden are beautiful too!

heather said...

yum! maybe ill make this for my mom this week...she is going in for dental surgery. ill have to leave out the tortellini though!

George said...

Wow. We've got to try this.

Ananda Rajashekar said...

wow creamy, smooth and inviting Those tomato looks cute :)

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