Tomato Bisque


1/4 pound bacon
4 large garlic cloves, minced
6 celery stalks, finely chopped
1-1/2 onions, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme
1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes, diced (reserve juice)
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 tablespoons butter (1/4 stick)
3 tablespoons flour
1 quart whipping cream at room temperature (or half-and-half)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 small bay leaf
2 whole cloves
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 cup white wine


Cook bacon in skillet until fat is rendered; remove meat and use as desired. Add garlic to fat and saute until lightly browned. Add celery, 1-½ onions, bay leaf, and thyme and saute until onions are transparent. Add canned tomatoes with juice and tomato paste and bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Begin white sauce by heating butter in saucepan. Stir in flour and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and slowly add cream, then add ½ onion, small bay leaf, and cloves. Place over medium heat and cook uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour through fine strainer into tomato mixture and add salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add fresh tomatoes and wine just before serving.


Serves 8-10

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