You’ve made countless salads and salsas, even pickled and frozen them, but if you’re like me out here in zone 10b, you’ve still got those late-season cherry tomatoes coming out your ears. Here’s one last way of using them all up with a minimum amount of effort — a cherry tomato bisque for busy people who don’t want to spend hours peeling, slicing and dicing tomatoes.
With autumn officially here, I go into soup mode. I love a hot, hearty soup when it’s cold outside (and by “cold,” I mean under 65°F… what can I say, I’m a SoCal gal!). Soups tend to be fairly time-consuming for what they are, so I like to make a huge bubbling pot to eat all day. But this cherry tomato bisque is so low-maintenance — so simple that I wouldn’t even call it a recipe — you can start it in the morning with only ten minutes of prep, continue your chores around the house, and come back to a delicious lunch.
This type of “recipe” is also open to all sorts of variations, such as adding diced onions or perhaps a Parmesan rind to the broth — but this is for busy people, after all, so I’ll keep it short and sweet.
Wash, dry, and destem your cherry tomatoes.
In a big pot over medium to medium-high heat, saute some garlic in olive oil — the more the better, more than you think you actually need. In keeping with the simple theme, I just peel the cloves and smash them with the side of my knife.
Dump the tomatoes into the pot and stir them around. Don’t be afraid to put all your tomatoes in there — I fill my pot to the brim. As the tomatoes cook down, their volume will reduce greatly.
Cover with a lid and let the tomatoes simmer in their own juices. To get things kick-started, you can also crush some of the tomatoes with a wooden spoon or potato masher, or just let them burst on their own as they cook.
After an hour or so, give the tomatoes another stir and throw in a handful of fresh herbs (I used basil, parsley and oregano) and several turns of cracked black pepper. If you want an extra kick, you can add in a spoonful of red pepper flakes too.
Re-cover and let the soup continue simmering for another hour. When most of the tomatoes have broken down and the volume has reduced by almost half, stir in some heavy whipping cream and more seasonings to taste. If you don’t like such a chunky texture, you can puree it with an immersion blender. Usually I find it the perfect consistency, so I serve as-is.
With cherry tomatoes, the bisque takes on a bright flavor that I find very fresh and different from traditional tomato soup.
And if you end up with leftovers, it also freezes well, so you can still enjoy a little taste of summer through the winter.