Creamy Vegetable Bisque
This recipe was inspired by, of all things, a knife skills cooking class that Marc and I took awhile back. And there’s good reason for it – it requires a LOT of chopping!
But if you’re not trying to be a top chef in the kitchen and just want to get dinner on the table, I have a secret: This soup is pureed with an immersion blender after cooking. So it doesn’t really matter how the veggies look while cooking! If you’re in a rush, a small to medium food processor is going to save you with this recipe.
(Side Note on the Art of Cooking: Seriously though, I DO find something really relaxing about chopping veggies. It’s kind of like doing laundry or painting. It’s a little bit monotonous but requires focus. This actually makes it a great stress reliever, believe it or not. So if you have the time, feel free to dice by hand.)
Moving on: This soup is really versatile. Pictured above and all dressed up, doesn’t it look so cozy and filling? I ate it for lunch right after that picture and I can assure you it is.
But because it’s entirely vegetable-based and tastes a bit like summer, I can see eating it in the hot months of the year as well. It’d be equally delicious hot or chilled. It’s sophisticated-looking, all dressed up with a drizzle of cream and some parsley, making it an ideal first course for Date Night In or a Dinner Party. And because it’s so thick when pureed, this soup would make an excellent baby’s first food. I’ve even considered playing around with it as a pasta sauce.
It’s incredibly versatile and I included a picture of it NOT dressed up, just so you could see how amazing it still looks even without a protein, cream or parsley garnish:
Let’s step through the making of this soup, and see how fast we can get it from farmer’s market to full belly.
You’ll prep all the hard veggies first, leaving the tomatoes for later. The onions have to soften first, so dice that (or skin and quarter it and throw it into your food processor to pulse a few seconds). Place them in a small prep bowl separately, then dice up the carrot, celery and bell peppers using whatever method you prefer.
Note on the carrots: Scrub them well using a vegetable brush scrubber under running water, but don’t peel them. Lots of nutrition is in the skin.
You’ll notice above I have onion-ey looking things in my bowl in the carrots. Those are leeks – I had a half of a small one leftover from some broth, so I just threw it in this batch. It’s not part of the official recipe but as part of the super-powered Allium family, they sure don’t hurt.
Next, you’ll skin and chop the tomatoes. You have two options for this: You can make a little X on their tops with your knife, then blanch them for a minute which makes them easy to peel, and then chop them up roughly. OR, you can quarter them raw, and use a box grater to grate their insides, getting down to their skins but not grating the actual skins.
Either way, you’re dealing with skinned tomatoes so this process is going to be messy. Embrace it! 🙂
That little green thing above is a garlic peeler. If you have never heard of this before, it is MAGIC. You put a clove or two of garlic in it, press down on the counter with your palm and roll it back and forth. It removes the skin in just a few seconds, no sticky fingers required.
The onions go in first, to sweat and soften. Onions need to be cooked gently. If they’re turning brown or crisping, the heat is too high.
Next all the other veggies go in…
At this point, your house is going to smell amazing. But we’re not done yet! Once the veggies have softened up a bit, after maybe 5 minutes, you’ll add the garlic, tomato paste, and then the skinned tomatoes and your broth of choice. This is what it’ll look like while its simmering.
When it’s done, you’ll use an immersion blender. If you haven’t used this before, its one of my favorite kitchen hacks. It’s an easy way to puree anything without needing to worry about transferring boiling hot soup into a blender and letting it cool before you can blend it. (If you’ve ever tried to blend steaming-hot soup on high power, you’ve likely discovered that steam can be rather…explosive.)
Because the immersion blender forms sort of a suction on the bottom of the pot, I like to turn it at a 45 degree angle and move it up and down a bit to make sure we are getting all the veggies through the blade.
My personal favorite is this Braun version – it comes with both the detachable immersion head, and a food processor bowl as a 2nd attachment used with the same handle. Double duty in one gadget!
See what a nice creamy texture it has before we’ve added even a bit of seasoning or fat? And once we’ve plated it and garnished it, it looks ready to devour. I added some animal protein here to make it a main course, but its a great first course or side soup all on its own. Try it with grilled cheese!
This soup is chock-full of alliums and nightshades, two of my favorite vegetable families along with brassicas. Lots of inflammation-reducing, gut-heating properties here along with a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
The only counter-indication is for people with severe leaky gut or IBS (if you’ve been diagnosed by a doctor) you’ll want to reduce or omit entirely the garlic. Wait until your gut is less permeable before you add it back into your diet.
I made this soup with my homemade Magic Mineral Broth. I had some frozen in the freezer that I’d made about a month ago. So much better than store-bought.
Creamy Vegetable Bisque Soup
Nutrition Per Serving