Thursday, April 05, 2007

Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Bisque.

Traditionally Indians, especially my 'Made in India' husband, just hate salads and soups. Their aversion is so much that it sometimes becomes contagious to the extent that you feel like a cow in their company when you are munching your favorite salad or soup. You have to pinch yourselves every now and then to get back to womanhood!!!

Talking about soups…isn’t it odd that though our Indian cuisine is so rich in vegetables we have to brand the South Indian rasam as a soup and serve it in our Indian restaurants. I guess that goes back to my initial claim that traditionally Indians have been averse to soup - we just haven't explored the realm of soups much.

In such a scenario, imagine my surprise when Nirmal orders a half-and-half at Panera with a tuna salad sandwich and a roasted red pepper & tomato bisque. I call it a well balanced diet while Nirmal calls it a to-stay-alive (he is referring to his high cholesterol) diet. So as i enjoy my soup while keeping an eye on his plight, I can’t help thinking about my cow in India bending over to drink water from its container – hehehehehe !!!

Long story short – Nirmal loved the soup. So here I am trying to make a homemade version of the soup with less fat to make it healthy for him. If there are any more copy-cat versions of my husband then I guarantee that they will love this soup. Try it out for yourself.


  • Red bell pepper - 2 big
  • Canned diced tomatos - 2 cups
  • Chicken stock - 2 cups
  • Red onion - 1
  • Garlic - 5 cloves
  • Oregano ( dried ) - 1 tsp
  • Basil ( fresh) - 1 tbs
  • Sugar - 2tsp
  • Black pepper ( freshly ground) - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste /1 tsp
  • Heavy cream - 2 tbs
  • Olive oil -1 tbs


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the onion into 4 quarters. Seed the red peppers and cut it length wise into two pieces. Brush a baking sheet with oil and place the red peppers skinside up. Fill the spaces with the onion quarters and whole garlic cloves. Drizzle 1tbs olive oil on top of the veggies and roast for 20 minutes or until skins of pepper turns brown. Remove the skin from the peppers and chop it to big chunks. Set aside with the roasted onion and garlic.
  • In a large saucepan, combine diced tomatoes, oregano and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium ,add peppers, onions and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree it . It tastes better if it is a bit chunky.Place puree in saucepan and add basil, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 -3 minutes. Remove from heat and add heavy cream. Serve it hot with sour cream on top.
  • Serve with your choice of a portion of roasted Sour dough bread or French bread.


  • Replace heavy cream with regular table cream for a healthier version.
  • Use a hand blender to avoid accidental spalsh of the hot liquid from the blender (happened to me). Otherwise wait for some time until the soup mixture become little cold and then put it in the blender.

This appetizer for the JFI tomato feast is already late. I hope R.P will serve it as a last minute entree - if not appetizer atleast as a desert !!!!!

The basic recipe was from this wonderful website.


Blogger Asha said...

How beautiful and elegant Bisque!!Looks great and I love the photo:))

8:00 AM  
Blogger Mishmash ! said...

Maneka, for a long time I was looking at that colourful presentation :) Usually I am stuck with my frontega sandwich and french onion soup whenever we go to PB,perhaps i will try this one next time...And hey if u really want a healthier version of this, using canned tomatoes and chicken stock is not an option I guess,you may substitute it with the homemade version coz both are very salty I guess but once in a while its okey too ! :)


8:16 AM  
Blogger Seema said...

Wow Menaka, The red of the bisque looks just perfect. Loved the presentation.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Mallugirl said...


3:22 PM  
Anonymous shilpa said...

Now thats an awesome picture. Looks so good.

10:49 PM  
Blogger LERA said...

Great colour,a lovely dish with tomato..Maneka, been a while since I got to see your blog.Happy easter :)

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Reena said...

i just stopped at the picture. one of the best in any food blog site. so professional!!! Happy Easter.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Surya Hith said...

Maneka,Bisque looks wonderful.I tried roasted red pepper sauce for pasta but never in a soup.I am a fan of soups and I will try this one for sure.Thanks for giving me this wonderful recipe.

6:43 PM  
Blogger bee said...

beautiful picture and recipe, maneka.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Seena said...

Have visited this site before, u have wonderful recipes..Happy Easter!

2:20 AM  
Blogger Vcuisine said...

Very nice presentation and beautiful photo. Viji

6:53 AM  
Blogger indosungod said...

That is one pretty looking soup,
Maneka sorry to disappoint you, your husband actually I think loved the soup not because of the taste but because it looks beautiful!!!

I should make this unlike yours mine and the kids love soup.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Mandira said...

absolutely fabulous looking bisque manekka, love the presentation too.

10:20 AM  
Blogger trupti said...

That is a lovely looking Bisque...I do love this....the flavor of the roasted red pepper goes so well with tomatoes, thanks for your version.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Prema Sundar said...

Lovely presentation...and a perfect bisque

11:16 AM  
Blogger Shilpa. said...

Hi Maneka, thanks for leaving a comment on my blog! :) I love the colour of your soup (unfortunately, I only like green peppers, not red, heh heh) and the pot you served it in! :)

4:00 PM  
Blogger Sharmi said...

Hi Maneka, the bisque is very new to me and looks so good. nice pic and presented so well. the dish in which you have served looks pretty.


6:55 PM  
Blogger Roopa said...

Beutifull picture and a delicious Bisque!

3:28 AM  
Blogger sunita said...

The soup looks great...btw both me and Dinesh absolutely love our soups...

10:01 AM  
Blogger Maneka Nirmal said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Maneka Nirmal said...

hey wonderful ladies..
thanks for all ur comments..i do respect ur thoughts and enjoy reading them too..since everybody had the same thoughts,i choose to thank u all at once. thank u!

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Linda said...

Looks just delicious, Maneka! Combo of roasted peppers and tomatoes is really nice. Thanks for sharing this :)

8:31 PM  
Blogger Seena said...

Hi Maneka,

Nice presentation...Hope to see you with more..

1:04 AM  
Blogger Aahaar Vihaar said...

I think this is the first time i am commenting on your blog. What a lovely presentation. Recipe is also new to me. Will sure give it a try.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Sukanya Ramkumar said...

First time to ur blog.......Ur tomato soup look YUMMY.......

1:26 PM  
Blogger Mishmash ! said...

Maneka, Vishu Aasamsakal to u, Nirmal and ur lil one :)
Enjoy the festivities :)


8:21 PM  
Blogger Sharmi said...

dear Maneka, wish you and ur family happy vishu!!

11:51 PM  
Blogger Gattina said...

I can tell your recipe is a keeper! Beautiful!!!

8:21 AM  
Blogger Sia's Corner said...

thats a beautiful presentation maneka... i love the way u have presented it...

8:37 AM  
Blogger Mallugirl said...

wish u and ur family a very hapy and prosperous year.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous foodjunkie said...

oh my god all those photos are so pro. what camera do u use and where did u get the pretty bowl from?gr8 work ur presentations are inspirational

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This is a good opportunity to have a new recipe in your recipe's book It's delicious and Is not common to see in an American dish.

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Blogger Leila said...

Maneka dear had this at a restaurant recently but had no clue how this delicious soup is made .thanks to you I made it and it was perfect to say the least

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