roasted red pepper and tomato bisque

VEGETARIAN*** | GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY-FREE | PALEO | CAN BE WHOLE30***

Time from start to finish: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Difficulty level: easy peasy

The difference between a “meh” tomato soup and a mind-blowing one is determined by one thing: depth of flavor. There are two secrets to achieving a deep, rich, beautiful flavor:

  1. Simmer as long as humanly possible.
  2. Enhance tomato flavor by adding other vegetables* (and salt**).

As far as simmering goes — you simmer this soup twice. Once with all the ingredients intact, and then again after you blend them together with an immersion blender.

For “other vegetables”, this recipe uses sweet roasted red peppers, onions, celery, and carrots to enhance the flavor of San Marzano tomatoes. This creates a tomato soup that puts other tomato soups to shame. 10 out of 10 grilled cheeses agree — this is the stuff they want to be dipped into. Since I’m focusing on healing my knee right now, I’m trying to find as many ways to drink bone broth as I possibly can. Usually, I use chicken broth for this recipe, but bone broth adds a nice, deep flavor and healing benefits! Enjoy.

YOU’LL NEED

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp. grass-fed butter (or EVOO/coconut oil for dairy-free)
  • 1 white onion, diced*
  • 2 stalks celery, diced*
  • 10 baby carrots carrots, diced*
  • 14 oz jar of roasted red peppers, strained
  • 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 3 cups bone broth [link to bone broth] or chicken/veggie stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp. dried thyme
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • heavy cream (optional)*** (eliminate for dairy-free, paleo, whole30)
  • basil, as garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent.
  2. Add carrots and celery, cook until soft, another 5 minutes or so.
  3. Add entire can of tomatoes. Break them up with a spatula and stir in with veggies.
  4. After 2-3 minutes, add roasted red peppers to the pot. Break them up also, stir around. Pour in the bone broth/chicken stock, add the bay leaves and thyme, and bring to a boil.
  5. Once your soup is boiling, bring it to a low simmer, cover, and allow it to simmer for at least 30 minutes — but the longer, the better (I usually do it about an hour).
  6. Once you’ve simmered sufficiently, fish out your bay leaves. Using an immersion blender [link to Amazon], blend your soup together. I like it to be mostly blended, with some veggie chunks — but you do you, booboo. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, pour your soup into a regular blender, working in batches until it’s all blended.)
  7. Simmer again for another 20-30 minutes, then salt and pepper your soup to taste. If adding cream, remove the soup from heat and then add it in, a little at a time, until it’s sufficiently creamy. Serve with a swirl of good olive oil and fresh basil.

*If you’re really short on time, Trader Joe’s has a pre-packaged mirepoix (onions, carrots, celery) that you can use in place of chopping these individual veggies.

**Don’t add salt until the very end of the cooking — salt tends to cook out during long simmers, so you’ll end up adding more than you need if you salt throughout the cooking process. Wait until after you’ve blended and simmered your soup for as long as possible before adding salt.

*** To make Whole30, replace butter with ghee. To make vegetarian, use vegetable broth in place of chicken or bone broth.

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