Smoked Tomato Bisque
I have designs on presenting a Smoked Tomato Bisque to my guests during the soup course at Thanksgiving next month. Admittedly the idea is in the conceptual mode and I have no attempted this recipe to date.
I'm sure I will be using canned, fire-roasted, organic tomatoes due to the season and am thinking about using the Cameron Stovetop Smoker for which I just purchased a complete 'fresh' selection of hardwood 'dusts' they offer. I would really prefer not to use the Liquid Smoke product, unless you can convince me otherwise.
I am curious as to how my fellow Chowhound might tackle this challenge with those two components and how you would prepare such a soup
Thank you very much!
Core and cut fresh Roma tomatoes in half, season with salt and pepper, place on tray and smoke for 15-20 minutes over the soaked chips on the stove top (or the hardwood dust, but I don't now exactly what that is, refined sawdust for smoking? What flavors do you have? Ash, oak or hickory might be good.) Remove and let cool. No need to skin the tomatoes.
Meanwhile, sauté diced onions, leeks, carrots and a few smashed garlic cloves until caramelized. Deglaze the pan with brandy; add your smoked tomatoes and the canned fire roasted tomatoes, a splash or more of balsamic vinegar, a few tablespoons or less of brown sugar, chicken or vegetable stock, a pinch or two of ground coriander, a bay leaf, fresh thyme and let simmer until vegetables are tender, about ten minutes. A single roasted seeded red pepper in this soup will add extra smokiness and body.
Add a few leaves of fresh basil if you like; puree the soup (here's where an immersion blender comes in handy.) You can make the soup to this point and chill. Add heavy cream, or more stock if the soup is thick; cream is perfect for real enrichment, and besides, it's Thanksgiving.
Reheat very gently, adjust seasoning, add a bit of whole unsalted butter, whisk in and serve.
A baked crouton with goat cheese fondue (goat cheese blended with heavy cream and seasoned) would be a nice garnish, with a sprig of fresh thyme.
Anyway, this is how I would make the soup.
Which dust were you thinking of using? I might try Alder as it is light and tasty. The idea of adding herbs sounds good, too. Maybe cut the tomatoes and place a piece of fresh basil on each. Smoke at as low a temp as you can, I'd think.
Be sure to spray or otherwise oil the rack and pan as the tomatoes might leak a bit and if the pan gets too hot, it might become hard to clean...
I would smoke my Onions and or Leeks and continue with the soup making. Onions really pick up the smoke flavor well and you won't need to use out of season fresh tomatoes.
I like to use Chicken Broth as a base to give more depth and finish with heavy cream after simmering and blending is done.
Other than that I always use rice to thicken (especially when calling it a bisque) and keep the seasoning simple.