Tomato Bisque is Like a Bowl Full of Mother’s Love

by Jeff Berkowitz on December 8, 2011 · 2 comments

in gluten-free,Soup,tomato,vegetarian

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At least it is like that for me…thanks mom! On a cold day there is nothing like a nice, hot bowl of creamy tomato soup. My mom always made Campbell’s Tomato Soup and she always made it with milk…mmmm! That and a grilled cheese sandwich…nothing better. Now…my version is not as fast as using a condensed soup and it is possible that the only advantage to my soup is that you know exactly what the ingredients are. I can tell you that the finished tomato bisque is creamy, delicious (with an intense tomato flavor), has nice bits of tomatoes and tastes just the way I like it and you can make that your own.

This soup is gluten free because I use rice to thicken it instead of roux. One could use potato to good effect as well, but the potato might dampen the tomato flavor which could be a good thing depending on how intensely you love tomatoes. This recipe is a must try and don’t wait too long…oh yeah, make it with a grilled cheese sandwich. Use some good Swiss or Gruyere, a bit of Gouda or even some brie and make it with good bread. Write me if you need a post about grilled cheese, otherwise, I will assume you are good to go on the grilled cheese…

Tomato Bisque

This wonderfully rich, satisfying soup is perfect for a cold fall or winter day either with lunch or as a light supper. It can be made with stock and finished with cream for extra richness, but the vegan version is just as luxurious.

Yield: approximately 64 fluid ounces

Serves: 4 as meal, 8 as an appetizer

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, peeled and diced

1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed

¼ cup Arborio rice

1 Qt water (vegetable or chicken stock would add flavor)

1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomato (organic is best)

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice, drained, the water goes in the pot with the water tomatoes reserved (use organic tomatoes)

2 Tbsp tomato paste (organic is best)

2 Tbsp sugar

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

½ tsp hot sauce

½ tsp Worcestershire sauce

½ cup heavy cream (optional)

Parsley or cilantro for garnish

Heat a 3 quart sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the oil, the onions and the garlic sautéing them until they turn translucent. Add the rice and stir to coat the rice with oil, but do not brown the rice. Add the water (or stock) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook covered for about 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes (except the dice tomatoes which will be added later),tomato paste, and sugar to the soup; heat this mixture thoroughly. Using a blender or an immersion blender puree the tomatoes and the rice, the soup should be completely smooth and silky in texture.  Add the diced tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste, I have used as much as a teaspoon to season this soup, but it depends on the tomatoes being used. Try adding the hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and the cream (if you are using it) before adding more salt.

Serve, garnish and enjoy this gluten free version of tomato bisque. As you can see it can be made vegan if you wish, simply omit or substitute vegan items for the Worcestershire sauce and the cream. Enjoy!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenni December 9, 2011 at 10:13 pm

First of all, hi!!! It has been a long time–hope you’re doing well! The soup looks amazing. I love making my own tomato soup; it never occurred to me to thicken it w/rice, although it makes perfect sense! One of my favorite flavorings to put in tomato soup is Old Bay–something about the celery seed in it makes the soup taste like a bloody Mary, which is never a bad thing! :)


2 Miriam December 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Looks great! My aunt makes one similar and it also has rice, though her recipe is more a tomato/rice soup. If someone really wants to use Worcestershire sauce, there is a vegan one I have used one by The Wizards, that is actually pretty good There are also many recipes to make your own.


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