This delicate blend of vegetable flavors is a delightful surprise – and easy to prepare. If fresh tomatoes are used, skin them and cook briefly to soften.
In a large pot, simmer onion, celery, mushrooms, and peppers in 2 tablespoons butter and sherry until tender. Stir in tomatoes and baking soda. (The soda will prevent the cream from “wheying,” or curdling.) Add cream, milk, remaining ¼ cup butter, and seasonings, and cook over low heat (do not boil) for 30 minutes. Serve very hot. The bisque can be held over a pan of boiling water if you aren’t able to watch it.