Soothing, silky, creamy tomato comfort any time of year

Tomato Bisque
Serves 6-8
Adapted by Margie Mackenzie from Margaret Fox, Cafe Beaujolais

Tomato Bisque has been a MacKenzie family favorite for 33 years. What I love about this recipe, besides its vibrant color and creamy silkiness, is that it uses canned tomatoes - which Margaret recommends over fresh - so you can have warm tomato comfort throughout the year, especially in the winter. Though it takes time to puree and then strain the soup, I highly endorse the extra effort. You will be rewarded.

For the soup 
6 tablespoons butter
1/2cup chopped onion
1 tsp dill weed
2 tsp dill seed
2 tsp oregano
2 teaspoons Magic Mediterranean blend
5 cups canned crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
4 cups chicken broth
salt and ground pepper, to taste
1/2 chopped Italian parsley
4 tsp honey
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup half and half
Creme fraiche for garnish, optional
For the roux
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

In large pot melt 6 tablespoons butter over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion, dried herbs and Magic Mediterranean blend and sauté until the onion is translucent. Adjust heat as needed to avoid scorching. Add the tomatoes and stock and stir to combine.
In small separate pot make the roux by blending 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons flour, whisking constantly over medium heat for 3 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to brown.
Whisk the roux into soup to fully incorporate it, add salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes stirring frequently.
Add the parsley, honey, heavy cream and half and half and stir well to combine. Remove the pot from the heat and let the soup cool down a bit.
Using a food processor or blender (I like my Ninja Professional), puree the soup in batches. Strain the soup through a fine sieve as you puree to achieve the silky smoothness associated with a bisque. If you're short of time, you can forgo the straining but your result will be a bit more rustic.
Serve warm in indivual bowls with a dollop of creme fraiche, if desired, accompanied by a green salad or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Shop for Magic Mediterranean blend here