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Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009 03:25 pm

Spicy tomato orange bisque

This tangy soup, with its bright and lively flavors, is a perfect antidote to holiday overindulgence, but it’s great any time. It takes little more than half an hour from start to finish, and there’s only about 10 minutes of actual prep involved: opening a can of tomatoes, chopping a pepper and onion, and blending the soup before serving. It somehow manages to have a rich mouth feel without being at all heavy. If you like chili heat, add the hot pepper; if not, it’ll taste just fine without it.

Spicy Tomato Orange Bisque is not only warm and welcoming on damp, cold days, but equally good served chilled during hot summer months.

  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 c. chopped onion, preferably red
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper, about 1 c.
  • 1 chopped hot red pepper, or more or less, or cayenne to taste, optional
  • 1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes in juice, preferably Italian
  • 2 c. orange juice
  • 1 c. chicken or vegetable stock or broth
  • Pinch of one or more of the following ground spices: ginger, allspice, cinnamon, cloves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Plain yogurt
  • Thinly seedless orange slices for garnish, optional

Melt the butter in a large saucepan or a Dutch oven over high heat. Add the chopped onion and peppers, stir to combine, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium. Let the vegetables “sweat” until they are softened, about five minutes.

Uncover the pan and raise the heat to high. Add the tomatoes, orange juice, stock or broth, and ground spices. Bring the mixture just to a boil, then reduce the heat until it barely simmers, then cover the pan and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Let the mixture stand for a few minutes, then purée with a hand-held immersion blender or in small batches in a regular blender. Be careful if using a stand blender; hot liquids can “explode” as the heat expands.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve garnished with the orange slices if desired. Pass a bowl of yogurt at the table for each diner to stir into the soup. Serves 4 - 6

Contact Julianne Glatz at realcuisine.jg@gmail.com.  

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