This is an update to this post because we were so pleased with the results of this recipe that we make it on a regular basis now...at least once a month since I originally posted in August 2011. We love it so much that I want to include it in Tidymom's second annual soup extravaganza, Soupapalooza:
However you pronounce it...they are in season right now and we sure have been getting our fill here at the Love Shack. When we travel to Charlotte, we usually stay at the Embassy Suites at Concord Mills and always enjoy the restaurant there...Rocky River Grille. It is so rare to find a good hotel with a decent restaurant and what really makes the Grille so good is that they use fresh, locally sustained, ingredients and everything is cooked to order. Almost daily, they deep fry their own turkey breasts for the best Turkey Clubs and BLT-sandwiches around. Add to that...their home-made tomato bisque and we are very happy travelers.
So this week we decided to try and replicate the Grille's tomato bisque and I have to say...we were pleasantly surprised ;}
Roasted Pepper and Tomato Bisque
Gather Your Ingredients:
- 3 Pounds ripe, organic Tomatoes, cored and quartered
- 1 Pound organic Bell Peppers (Red, Orange or Yellow)
- 1/4 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Roasted Garlic, chopped/diced
- 3 teaspoons fine Sea Salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground back Pepper
- 1 large white Onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1/4 Cup lightly packed, chopped fresh Basil (or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves)
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh Sage (or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage)
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf Parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried parsley leaves)
- 1/2 Cup Beef Stock (or vegetable)
- 2 Cups Water
- 1 Large Can Diced Tomatoes (optional depending on how many fresh tomatoes you have)
Directions: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut, core and seed your bell peppers in large chunks (so that they skins will be easier to peel later :).
Then cut, core and seed your tomatoes...we had small, heirloom tomatoes that only needed to be cut in half.
In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the Olive Oil, the Balsamic Vinegar, the roasted Garlic, and 2 teaspoons of the Salt and the Black Pepper.
Pour it over the tomatoes and peppers in a large bowl and toss until all coated.
Pour the veggie mixture (including all of the marinade liquid) out onto a couple of sheet pans and arrange the veggies in a single layer with the skin sides down.
Toss the sheet pans into the oven and roast them until the veggies are charred on the edges, about 40 minutes.
Let cool slightly and then slip the skins off the veggies.
While you are waiting for the veggies to cool down, roughly chop up a large white onion and heat up the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus 1 Tablespoon of butter in a heavy pot over medium heat.
Add one teaspoon of Sea Salt and saute your onions until they are soft and golden. Then add the sage, parsley and basil and saute for another minute.
Stir in the roasted veggies, along with all the accumulated juices from the baking sheets and bring to a simmer. Add the water and the stock and simmer gently, just until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes.
If you do not have enough of fresh tomatoes (like we did ;) once they have shrunk down after roasting, then at this point you can add a large can of your favorite diced tomatoes.
If you desire a smoother consistency, then puree the veggies in batches, in a food processor or blender...or use what DH calls a "boat motor" (a.k.a immersion blender ;)
At this point you need to have a taste...to determine if you need to add any sugar to your mix...I find that whenever you use canned tomatoes the acid is higher and adding a teaspoon or two helps reduce the acid burn ;)
Now it's ready to serve in big bowls with some oyster crackers or cornbread croutons or with mini grilled ham n'cheese sandwiches...yummy!
We enjoyed this batch of soup for a few days and it made for a great weekend of comfort food and left-overs. I'll be back with another post to share these sandwiches and some more fesh tomato recipes...right now I'm really hungry!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and that everyone is safe from the outrageous storm predictions...right now we are just getting a lot of rain and very little wind...we've had worse thunder showers than this. But we did prepare the Love Shack and put down the patio umbrella, stowed lots of food and water and of course...a case of wine ;)