Smoked Tomato Bisque

The first time I tried this soup was in Texas, and I was hooked. This wonderfully rich and creamy soup recipe uses a few shortcuts to achieve the smoky flavor that the Texas version offers. Served with homemade chips, it is a quick and delicious meal.

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4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 to 4 garlic cloves minced
3 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken stock
1 26oz can crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup red wine
(Cabernet Sauvignon or similar)
2 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 jalapeno, cut in half (seeds removed)
1 teaspoon smoke flavoring
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon honey

Ingredients – Chips
3 white potatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Cajun seasoning
Madoline required

In a medium cast iron pot, add the butter, olive oil, chopped onion, carrot, celery, minced garlic, and thyme. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables begin to brown (5 minutes). Add the flour and jalapeno and mix until the flour is fully incorporated. Season with salt and smoked paprika. Add the wine and allow it to reduce for a few minutes. Add the chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, honey, and smoke flavoring. Mix together well.

Partially cover the soup and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Using a hand emulsifier or a blender, puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the heavy cream and cook until the soup is heated through.

While the soup is cooking, prepare the potato chips. You will need a mandoline. Prepare an ice bath for the potatoes before starting. Cut the potatoes in half and slice on the mandoline to a 1/16-inch thickness. Immediately put the slices into the cold water bath. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.

Dry the potatoes in batches in a salad spinner and place them on a plate lined with parchment paper. Do not overlap the potato slices, as they will stick together. Brush the top of the slices with olive oil and season with salt and Cajun seasoning (note that any preferred seasoning can be used). Microwave the slices for 3 minutes. Remove them from the microwave and flip them over. Brush and season the second side and return to the microwave for 3 minutes at 50% power. The chips become golden and crispy.

Serve with warm soup. Serves 4 – 6 people.

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