Adapted from a recipe by Dianne Rossen-Worthington for Food and Wine. Serves 4-6 as entrée or 8-12 as a side dish. To make it into a bisque, simply add a quarter cup of cream after blending and stir in well.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon high heat oil like canola or sunflower
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons unbleached flour
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 large can (28 ounce size) chopped roasted tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup cream, if desired
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- pinch of sugar, if desired (optional)
Heat a 10-12” satoir or rondeau over medium-high heat for about 60 seconds without anything in it. Turn the heat down to medium. Melt butter and oil together until it begins to shimmer. Add the onion and celery and stir well with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon. Cook until it becomes fragrant and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and let it heat through for another minute. Turn the heat down to low and stir in the flour. When the vegetables are well coated with the flour, add broth and tomatoes. Turn the heat up to high and add the Italian seasoning, tomato paste, sugar and bay leaves. Stir well to combine and bring to a low boil. Turn heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves.
With an immersion blender or in a heatproof food processor, blend the soup until it is uniformly smooth. (Take care with this step, the soup is splashy!). Pour the soup back into the satoir or rondeau and stir in cream until well blended. Follow with basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper (and sometimes, a pinch of sugar).