La Storia ~

On a cold winter night, my boys (husband and son),

love to come home to homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese.

(Funny, growing up, we called it ‘toasted cheese.’

But our son’s friends didn’t know what I was talking about, so I acquiesced.)

This simple, but lovely tomato bisque with ‘Beecher’s’ grilled cheese bites,

makes me hero for the night!

Onions, fennel, carrots and coriander make a nice base.

(Yes, my childhood based love affair with fennel continues.)

Peeled whole tomatoes and chicken stock with tomato paste give it a depth of flavor

and nutmeg rue, with half & half makes it ridiculously velvety & rich.

Go ahead, be a hero for the night, in your house.



1 small onion & fennel bulb chopped

1 carrot peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons coriander

32 Ounces good chicken broth

2 tablespoons double concentrated tomato paste

28 Ounces peeled whole tomatoes

3 tablespoons each butter & flour

freshly ground nutmeg

1 pint (total) milk/half & half

salt & pepper

butter & olive oil

Beecher’s Flagship cheese

Herb baguette



Saute the onions, fennel & carrots in a little olive oil & butter until soft.

Stir in the coriander and a little salt and pepper.

Mash tomatoes and add to pan, simmer for 5 minutes

Whisk 2 tablespoons tomato paste into broth and add to tomato mixture.

Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes


melt the butter in a pan and whisk in the flour for the rue.

Continue whisking until smooth.

Add 4 or 5 grinds of freshly ground nutmeg.

(Adore nutmeg!)

Slowly whisk in 1 pint of milk/half & half combo.

Add to tomato mixture,

Salt & pepper to taste.

Simmer for 20 minutes.

Use a handheld smart stick (love these) to puree.

(Look at the color ~ Gorgeous!)

Fire up your grilled cheese bites on an herb baguette.

Garnish tomato bisque with creme fraiche and chopped fennel fronds.

Dip away!

Perhaps, the best part of this bistro style meal…

the leftovers!

Ciao & enjoy,