Tomato bisque & homemade Focaccia

“What are you eating!”

My parents called that out at least a dozen times this weekend when Rachel and I visited. The question was directed at that crazy pup that likes to pick up everything she can–gloves, snow boots, sticks, thumbtacks, paper from the bathroom trashcan, Emma’s stuffed animals. And she doesn’t just pick these things up, like some dogs do. No, she wants to parade around the house before her new stash becomes a chew toy. Destination: ultimate destruction. Better grab that glove out of her mouth real fast!

Crazy pup also likes to be “helpful” in the kitchen, my mom quickly learned when we were cooking Tomato Bisque for lunch Sunday. Her nose wiggles up toward the counters, where my mom was chopping onions and carrots. She stands exactly where you need to be, like as my mom walked between the stovetop and the fridge with a pitcher of hot brewed tea. And if you’re washing dishes, you can bet she’ll want to lie down on the mat in front of the sink. (Unless the dishwasher is open, and then she’ll be trying to thoroughly clean all the plates and bowls.)

“I’m just trying to help make the dough!”

“You’re annoying!” my mom exclaimed several times. It could have been Rachel’s middle name.

While I was in town over Super Bowl weekend, we were able to work our way through both Tuesdays with Dorie recipes: Focaccia and Boca Negra.

But for now, I’ll share the recipe for Tomato Bisque, courtesy of mom’s coworker. Cooking a noontime meal is an odd occurrence for my family, but since we had plans for dinner already, I suggested we make the focaccia for lunch. What better to go alongside homemade bread than freshly made hot soup.

Fiestaware makes food fun to eat… but maybe not the best for photographing.

Tomato Bisque

  • 4 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 T. flour
  • 5 cups water, chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 28 ounces chopped tomatoes (we used 1 can diced, and 1 can diced/fire roasted tomatoes)
  • 3 parsley sprigs (or 1 tsp. dried parsley)
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Saute the onion and carrot in the butter until they start to get soft. Add the garlic and continue cooking until onion is translucent.

Stir in the flour and cook while stirring for 3 minutes. Pour in the broth and tomatoes, and bring to a boil.

Add the herbs, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Remove from heat, take out the herbs. Blend in batches in a blender, or use a hand blender to puree the soup still in the pot. (Just don’t lift the blender up or your kitchen will be covered in soup.)

Whisk in cream, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings. Enjoy!

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