So tomatoes were chosen as the secret ingredient for the second round of Something Awful Iron Chef, and thanks to my heritage and love of Italian food (along with my skill at cooking it), the first thing that came to mind was a rich pasta sauce. Then I thought about it some more and realized that a pasta sauce, while qualified, wasn't solely focused on tomatoes. I started to think of dishes that featured tomatoes exclusively, and immediately decided on a tomato bisque.
- Five large tomatoes
- 1/2 Yellow Onion
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Celery Stalk
- 5 cups Chicken Broth
- 1/4 cup Whipping Cream
- Bay Leaves
- Fresh Parsley (not pictured)
- Unsalted Butter
On standby, have one carrot, one celery stalk, half a yellow onion, and two cloves of garlic chopped up and ready to go.
Dump 4 tablespoons (half a stick) of unsalted butter into a pot, and heat it until it's almost entirely melted.
Trim down two strips of bacon to the good meat and a bit of the fat. Throw the rest of the fat away (or save it, whatever; it won't be used). Chop up what you've taken.
Toss the bacon into the pot with the butter, and cook it for about a minute to render the fat.
Remove the bacon from the butter. Unload your chopped vegetables into the pot, and cook until they're soft. (8 to 10 minutes)
After the vegetables have softened up, stir in 5 tablespoons of flour, and mix well.
Keep the mixture on heat for two minutes, then stir in your chopped tomatoes and 5 cups of chicken broth. Toss in a bay leaf and a teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil while stirring constantly.
Once you hit boiling, lower the heat and throw in a few sprigs of fresh parsley. Simmer uncovered for about a half hour. Have a strainer and bowl ready and set aside.
After 30 minutes of simmering, remove from heat and let it cool down. A little at a time, dump the mixture into a blender and puree until smooth.
Once the mixture is smooth in the blender, strain it into a large bowl. Do this for the entire pot.
When you've finished with the blender, dump your now-strained mixture back into the pot and set it on low heat. Grind some black pepper into it, and stir well. Whisk in your whipping cream.
Once it's nice and warm again, dish out into a bowl and garnish as desired. I used a bit of fresh parsley and a bit more freshly-ground black pepper. Pour out a nice beverage and enjoy.