Tomato bisque prepared with smoked tomatoes has an incomparable rich smoky flavor. Use fresh or canned tomatoes and smoke them on the grill or in the oven. Cornbread croutons add crunch and sweetness to the bisque. Photo credit: Joanne Bruno from Eats Well with Others.
For the Grill-Smoked Fresh Tomatoes, soak wood chips in enough water to cover for 1 hour. Drain. Fill smoker tray with wet wood chips. Add rosemary; mix well. Place smoker tray on grill rack on one side of grill. Close lid. Heat grill on high heat about 10 minutes or until smoke appears from chips. Reduce heat to medium. Place plum tomatoes on grill rack or in large disposable perforated aluminum grill pan. Close lid. Smoke 5 to 10 minutes or until tomatoes are lightly charred and have a smoky aroma. Remove tomatoes from grill. Set aside.
For the Poblano Cornbread Croutons, preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cornbread as directed on package, stirring in poblano chile, onion and rosemary. Bake as directed in greased 8-inch square baking pan. Cool in pan on wire rack. Remove from pan; cool completely. Cut cornbread into 3/4-inch cubes. Place on baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until toasted. Set aside.
For the Rosemary Smoked Tomato Bisque, heat oil in Dutch oven or large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and poblano chile; cook and stir 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in tomato paste until well blended. Add Smoked Tomatoes, stock, vinegar, rosemary, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until tomatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally.
With center part of blender cover removed to let steam escape, puree soup in batches in blender on high speed until smooth. Return soup to saucepan. Stir in cream. Simmer on low heat until heated through. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Top with Poblano Cornbread Croutons, as desired.
Grill-Smoked Canned Tomatoes: Smoke wood chips as directed. Use 2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained and halved. Place tomatoes in large disposable perforated aluminum grill pan or on metal rack placed in large disposable aluminum roasting pan. Smoke 20 to 30 minutes or until tomatoes have a smoky aroma.
Oven-Smoked Fresh or Canned Tomatoes: Place 2 cups wet wood chips in large disposable aluminum roasting pan or foil-lined roasting pan. Add rosemary; mix well. Place a metal rack over wood chips. Place 1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, quartered, or 2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained and halved, on rack. Cover tightly with foil. Bake on lowest rack of preheated 475°F oven 30 minutes or until tomatoes are tender and have a smoky aroma.
Test Kitchen Tips:
• If using Grill-Smoked or Oven-Smoked Canned Tomatoes to prepare soup, decrease vegetable stock to 2 cups and add 2 cups of the tomato juice from the canned tomatoes.
• If your grill does not have a smoker tray, place wood chips on a large sheet of heavy duty foil. Fold up sides to form a pouch. Poke several holes in foil. Continue as directed.
• Serve leftover Poblano Cornbread Croutons on a salad or use to prepare cornbread stuffing.