Tomato and Crab Bisque
Making soup is usually quite easy although I was surprised at the amount of prep time that this took. I have gained a lot of respect for people who make their own batches of tomato based sauce and soups on a regular basis.
This yields about 6 servings so adjust your ingredients accordingly if you'd like less or more.
Select 6 firm, ripe tomatoes. Ideally you'll want about 4 cups worth once they're all crushed, however you can also use a large can (28 oz) of factory crushed tomatoes if you can't find any that look good to you or you just want to cut down your preparation time.
- 250ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 125ml table cream (18%)
- 250g crab meat (I used rinsed, canned crab. Make sure whatever you use is leg meat, not just a percentage of leg meat or imitation crab.)
- 30ml fresh, chopped thyme and parsley
- 15ml olive oil
- 1/2 an onion. Red or white will do.
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- as well as salt and pepper to taste.
Wash the tomatoes well, and put them aside. Boil a quantity of water that'll easily accomodate the tomatoes once immersed.
Once the water boils, add your tomatoes carefully to the pot with a slotted spoon or a ladle for about minute. You don't want to cook anything here. This is just a step in removing the skin.
Once the minute is up, put the pot into your sink and run cold water over everything for another minute. Remove the tomatoes and empty the pot, setting it aside.
Peeling and removing the seeds and core from the tomatoes is quite messy but there are quite a few techniques used by professionals that I suppose I could have used. I'd never worked with tomatoes before so I did things kind of blindly, but it all turned out fine once I'd wiped the counter down afterward. Cutting an 'x' lightly into each tomato made it very easy to remove the skins. You can also pull on the skin with your nails to create a flap to pull back from the tomato if you like.
Do this with each tomato and then cut them into quarters so to remove their seeds and cores. Don't worry about getting every single seed out.
Then, crush the tomatoes by squishing them through your fingers or if you are fortunate to have one, a tomato mill. Alternatively, you can dice them on a cutting board. Once completed, put them back into your pot along with 250ml of chicken stock.
Add the olive oil to a separate pan and cook your onion until it's just about brown.
Then add the garlic and thyme and cook it all together until it becomes fragrant.
Combine these ingredients with your tomatoes and stock. Cover the pot and boil for approximately 15 minutes.
Using an immersion blender or food processer, purée about half the soup; it will be still be chunky and thick. (If you don't have either, use a potato masher!) Return it to the pot and reduce the heat to simmer. Add the cream and crab meat and stir it occasionally adding salt and pepper to taste.
You may also want to uncork a bottle of red wine at this point but be sure to choose something that'll go well with the acidity of tomatoes.
Your bisque should be ready at this point. Taste it once again and add salt or pepper to your liking. Reduce the heat further and serve your salad and wine.
Keep drinking the wine and consider uncorking a second bottle while you remove the soup from the heat and ladle it into bowls. Add parsley as a garnish. Additionally, I decided to serve this with Canapés and Gruyère cheese, but you can use baguette or Italian bread if you wish.