Commonly other soups, made with a cream base are called bisque, but they are actually just a creamed soup. Calling them a Bisque is incorrect, however it sounds fancier than creamed soup, and brings a higher price in a high end restaurant, with or without any seafood added. Not long ago I had a clam bisque in a wanna be high end restaurant, (because it sits in the harbor). The bisque had no clams, but was more like a creamy potato soup with a clam juice flavor. This was less than a cup, served in a very shallow bowl and carried a hefty price tag of $12.00. A true bisque it was not, though it tasted fine, it was a little disappointing in that it didn't even have a morsel of the clam in it and as I recall there was no texture at all, simply a pureed, creamed, clam flavored potato soup. If you wanted lobster or crab bisque, the price doubled for a less than ample serving, even for my small appetite.
So whatever you call a bisque, know that this recipe is loaded with nutrition, fiber and fairly low in calories even with added butter and cream, with a satisfying flavor, that will leave people questioning just what the soup was made from. There's a hint of tomato, and hint of pumpkin, a hint of herbs, but no distinct overpowering flavor in the blend to detect what it really is. You can use a dairy substitute if desired, but the results and flavor will not be the same. If you feel so inclined you can, pull out your mortar and pestle to pulverize the crustaceans, and add that to your bisque.
This is the perfect end of harvest soup. Just in time for pumpkins, and the last of the ripe tomatoes from the garden. The flavor blend definitely tastes like Autumn with the feeling of comfort and warmth from a tasty, tummy filling soup. This is one you might want to eat snuggled in a cozy afghan.
Yield: Serves 6-8
2-3 C. Tomatoes-quartered (garden fresh)
2-3 C. Pumpkin Puree (home rendered or a 29 oz. Can of pure pumpkin puree)
1/2 Onion (cut in half, seared and caramelized on the flat side)
1 C. Sweet Peppers (chopped)
2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1 C. Celery
2 C. Chicken broth* (homemade or commercial variety)
2 T. Butter
1/2 C. Cream
1-2 sprigs Basil (fresh)
1 sprig Oregano (fresh)
2 sprigs Thyme (fresh)
1/2-1 tsp. Pumpkin spice* to taste
Pinch sea salt (or to taste)
Ground Pepper to taste
1 T. Maple syrup, coconut Palm Sugar, simple syrup (optional)
Fresh Herb sprigs, chopped chives and Sour cream for garnish
Immersion Blender, Food processor or kitchen Blender
Place the quartered tomatoes into a slow cooker with no added liquid unless your tomatoes are a paste type. Allow to cook down on low at least 12 hours. Add the broth, pumpkin puree, peppers, garlic, celery, salt and peppers. Cook on low 4 hours or until the celery and peppers are soft. Add the herbs and pumpkin spice. Allow the flavors to blend another hour on low. Remove the herb sprigs.
With the immersion blender sitting on the bottom of the slow cooker, puree the tomato mixture until mostly smooth. Add the butter and cream, and use the immersion blender to finish blending and pureeing the mixture. Be careful this will be very hot. OR place in your blender and pulse until the mixture is smooth.
Note: You can strain the bisque through a fine mesh sieve or through a hand food mill if you prefer.
Serving Suggestion: Pour into serving bowls and garnish with fresh herbs, a dollop of sour cream and chopped chives if desired. Serve with garlic bread.
Note: If there are leftovers, the bisque freezes well. Pour into freezer safe containers for up to 3 months. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
Refer to the link to render your own Broth:
Refer to the link to render your own Pumpkin Puree:
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