lunchbox life: creamy tomato bisque

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Happy Valentines Day Week, everybody!  Here in Macon, we’ve have a gorgeous weekend of mid-60s sun, but I hear that the cold may be coming through yet again.  I’ve got just the remedy: this nutritious, yet satisfying creamy tomato bisque that you’ll be surprised is actually really good for you.  I’ve paired it this week with some lean turkey and cheese on a sandwich thin that I plan to heat up for around 30 seconds in the microwave–just the right companion for a warm bowl of tomato soup.  I’ve also included some blueberries as a side because (a) they were on sale, and (b) they looked so pretty at the grocery store.

This soup is the perfect blend of wintry satisfaction and a siren call to summer.  The creaminess from the milk and flour roux rounds out this soup for the chills of February, but the tomato and basil call forth the future warmer months that I think we’re all ready for.  You’ll start with a slow cooker full of veggies that looks like this:

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Then, after six hours, you’ll use an immersion blender (or a regular blender) to blend all of these morsels together to create a smooth, tomato-y concoction.  After creating a roux, you’ll add that to the slow cooker, cook for 30 more minutes, and then enjoy!  This would be a great dinner option for one of the colder nights this week, especially paired with a tangy grilled cheese from the broiler.

Creamy Tomato Bisque

Adapted from Skinnytaste

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped onion

1 chopped heirloom tomato

28 oz. can whole tomatoes, peeled

1 tsp. thyme

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

4 cups chicken broth

Parmesan cheese rind (or whatever remnants you have in the fridge)

1 bay leaf

2 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. flour

1/3 cup grated parmesan

1 3/4 cup warm 2% milk

salt and pepper, to taste

Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan.  Add the celery, carrots, and onion and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the vegetables, fresh tomato, canned tomatoes, thyme, basil, chicken broth, cheese rind, and bay leaf to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.

After the 6 hours are up, remove the cheese rind and use an immersion blender the blend all of the veggies and broth together.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, pour the soup (only 1/3 at the time) into a blender, blend, the add back to the slow cooker.

Next, melt the butter in a smaller frying pan, then whisk in the flour for the roux.  Add 1 cup of the warm blended soup to the roux and whisk.  Pour and whisk in the warm milk about 1/2 cup at a time.  Add the roux to the slow cooker and stir, then add the parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.  Cook on low for 30 more minutes, then it’s ready!

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