As promised, here's the second set of hors d'oeuvres in my series of 4 celebrating the first month of the new decade: a spicy tomato bisque with mini grilled cheese to make you go AWWWWW...
Note: I used sake cups for my "bowls" (a housewarming gift from my friend Ivon - thanks, Ivon!) but you can use anything little like shot glasses or demitasse cups...
Recipe: Tomato Bisque Shots with Mini Grilled Cheese
What you need for the bisque (makes about 6 cups)...
1 medium Vidalia or other yellow/sweet onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 cup jarred or fresh roasted red peppers, diced
4 tablespoons butter (divided in half)
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons AP flour
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes (drained)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup heavy cream
Splash of Marsala wine
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1/2 tablespoon cumin
Cayenne pepper to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
What to get for the mini grilled cheese...
A loaf of firm white/french bread, cut into triangles (about 20)
Approx 1 pound of a good melting cheese: brie, Gouda, cheddar, Swiss, etc
Butter or olive oil for pan grilling
Other optional add-ons: olive tapenade, Ajvar spread, pesto... you name it!
What to do with it all...
For the bisque:
- In a medium saucepan, melt 1/2 of your butter (2 tablespoons) and saute the onion, carrot and garlic on medium heat
- Once they begin to brown, sprinkle flour over veggies and cook on low for another minute or until flour is well incorporated
- Add the stock, canned and paste tomatoes, Marsala wine, and roasted peppers and bring to a boil
- Lower the soup to medium-low and allow to cook just above a simmer until the veggies are tender
- Use an immersion blender and partially puree the soup (you still want some chunks) - you can also do this in a blender or food processor using half the soup and pureeing then adding back to the saucepan
- Add your cream, cumin, cilantro, cayenne, salt and pepper and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and heat until just hot
- Set aside until grilled cheese is ready, then add to shot glasses/cups/bowls
- Sandwich 10 slices of cheese between two triangles, smear one piece of bread w/optional spread
- Brown on both sides in butter/oil in an oven-proof pan and transfer to broiler until golden and cheese is soft and partially melted
- Place on the side or on rim of your bisque vessels!