Tomato Bisque

"Soup of the evening.....beautiful soup". If you have three daughters, you become very familiar with Lewis Carrol and the Adventures of Alice in Wonderland. And today's recipe is a soup that uses love apples-- or tomatoes--so called because at one time it was thought that they might have aphrodisiac qualities!

You say you don't know what to do with all those canned tomatoes you put up in your pantry? Or you found some tomatoes in your crisper that you forgot you had? Try making your own tomato soup. It's easy and once you've tasted it--you'll see "Mmmm--mmmm Good!" and you'll never be able to go back to canned zuppa.

For a family of five, you'll need:

2 ea.              onions, diced
2 TB               olive oil
5 ea.              tomatoes or one quart canned
16 ounces          chicken stock
2 TB               tomato paste
1 tsp              ground thyme
3/4 tsp            sugar 
12 oz.             heavy cream
to taste           salt and pepper

Saute the onions in a little oil, then chop up tomatoes and add to the onions. Let simmer 10 minutes then add chicken stock, tomato paste and thyme and simmer 30 minutes. Push mixture through a strainer to eliminate seeds and skins. Let cool and add cream and sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can add a little more tomato paste at this time if you think it is a little weak. The sugar is necessary to neutralize the acid in the tomatoes.

Now all you need is a big, thick grilled cheese sandwich. And as always, a creative cook is a good cook.