While looking for a dessert recipe to make for Thanksgiving, I came across an easy shrimp bisque recipe in Dinner Tonight, Done by Real Simple. The recipe called for shrimp, heavy cream, brandy, canned tomato soup and fresh chives. I was in the mood for something a bit more complicated, so I decided to make my own tomato soup for the base instead of using canned. I used Jamie Oliver's tomato soup recipe from 30 Minute Meals.
I started off by roasting about a pound of cherry tomatoes and a few larger tomatoes on a baking sheet with four crushed garlic cloves, half of a de-seeded green chile, salt, pepper and a good lug of olive oil. This roasted on 425 F for about 15 mins, and proceeded to smoke out my kitchen. I roughly chopped a red onion and cooked it up in a large sauce pan with 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar until soft.Once the tomatoes became a bit wrinkled and soft, I combined them with the onions and cooked the combo up for another few minutes until it was fragrant and came together nicely.
I blended the combination in two batches until it reached a "rustic" consistency. Rustic was Jamie's word and I think it is perfectly descriptive of a nicely blended but still textured soup. I made a major mistake with the blender which almost compromised the entire dish. Oops. Luckily we were able to pull it together and save the meal. I won't go into detail.
The Real Simple shrimp bisque recipe called for 28 oz of canned tomato soup, which was almost exactly how much the Jamie Oliver recipe made. I cooked 1 pound of shrimp in the large saucepan with a little bit of butter and then set aside. Next I combined the tomato soup, 1 cup of heavy cream, a bit of water and 1 tablespoon of brandy in the saucepan and let it all come together on medium heat for a few minutes. I added the shrimp for 2-3 minutes and the soup was ready to serve. Be sure not to cook for too long after the shrimp is added and risk overcooking.
Andddddd the result: This soup was so good. I'm really glad I made my own tomato soup base because I can imagine that it would have been quite flat with canned soup. Jamie's recipe added so much flavor and depth to the dish, and I think the soup really benefitted from the spice that the green chile brought. The texture was really nice although there were a few un-pureed pieces of onion floating around that eluded the blender. I think next time I would let the tomatoes and onions get a bit softer before blending to ensure that everything gets chopped up. The broth was not too heavy and had a beautiful color, and the shrimp were cooked really well. With a warm, crusty baguette, this was delish. I would definitely make it again.