Tomato Bisque, easy

IMG_80634 T. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 (or more to taste) garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 T. all-purpose flour
4 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth OR vegetable broth
Two 14 1/2-ounce cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
3 T. tomato paste
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and white pepper
1/2 cup garlic or cheese croutons and/or green onions, for garnish (if you like)
Adapted from Food & Wine

In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, cover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir over low heat for 1 minute, or until the flour is fully incorporated. Add the chicken or vegetable stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, and sugar and bring to a boil. Cover partially and cook the soup over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Transfer half of the soup to a blender* and puree until smooth. Return the puree to the saucepan, add the heavy cream and cook until the soup is just heated through. Season the soup with salt and white pepper and swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Ladle the soup into bowls, add garnish(es).

*This photo was taken the first or second time I made the soup; I had pureed the whole batch.  Pureeing just half or even less makes for a more interesting soup for the eyes and the inside of your mouth.

Since late February 2018, I’ve been eating and cooking vegetarian with fish maybe once a week.  I didn’t think I could tolerate a vegetarian diet but after three weeks staying with my vegetarian son and daughter-in-law, I found it was easier than I thought.  I also discovered what is obvious:  there’s a lot more prep since you are working with raw foods that need washing, sometimes peeling, slicing or dicing, although it feels as if I spend less time “cooking.”  Switching to this kind of cooking,  I’ve had to think about meals differently.  With a carnivorous diet, I would build a meal around pork or beef or chicken or fish.  Now I make more soups or stews, experiment with stir fries, eat more tofu, have an omelet for dinner once in awhile, and look for ways to make a variety of carbs.  Look for more vegetarian recipes in the future.


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