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Roasted Tomato Bisque

Roasted Tomato Bisque
Roasting tomatoes concentrates their flavor, giving this bisque a full-bodied taste without the use of cream, except for a dollop of light sour cream used as a garnish. This soup is smooth and elegant enough to serve at a dinner party.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lb. plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tsp. light sour cream
  • 4 tsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 425°F. Cover 1 large or 2 medium baking sheets with aluminum foil.

Arrange the tomatoes, cut sides up, on the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tsp. of the salt and several grinds of pepper. Roast the tomatoes in the oven until they are soft but still hold their shape, about 30 minutes.

In a Dutch oven or large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the onion releases its juices, about 8 minutes. Stir in the paprika. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the roasted tomatoes, along with any juices collected on the pan(s), then pour in the water. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer until the vegetables are very soft, about 25 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Working in batches, carefully pass the soup through a food mill fitted with the medium disk and placed over a bowl. Alternatively, pass the soup through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a bowl, pressing against the solids with the back of a wooden spoon.

Rinse the pan and transfer the soup back into it. Stir in the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, or more, to taste, season with pepper and reheat over medium heat. Divide the soup among warmed soup bowls and place 1 tsp. sour cream in the center of each bowl, swirling it slightly. Garnish each with 1 tsp. parsley and serve.

Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).