Anne Sawyer Recipes

Tomato Bisque, from Episode 6 of “A Woman with a Very Large Knife.”

Tomato Bisque

(Seriously edited version from podcast. For the full flavor of this recipe, listen to Episode 6 of “A Woman with a Very Large Knife,” which you can find in the podcast section of my website.)

Simple, creamy, perfect for a snowy April day.

Now for this recipe, I used to use only fresh tomatoes. I went through this big process of blanching and peeling and coring the fruit, and then you’d have to strain it through the colander to keep the seeds out…yah. I’m so over that. Now I just use canned tomatoes.


  • 2 tsp Italian spices
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 large Idaho potato
  • 2 28-ounce cans of tomatoes
  • 1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (uh huh)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil

On medium heat, toast the Italian spices and smoked paprika for about 1 minute. Throw in the butter in and lower the heat to let it melt. While that’s happening, dice up the onion. Toss that into the buttery spicy mix. Sauté those tearjerkers until they are soft and yellow, about seven minutes. While that’s cooking, dice up the potato (I leave the skin on). Get that spud into the pot when it looks like the onions have taken on an aspect like Nosferatu with a hangover. What’s the word I’m looking for? Translucent. Yeah. Add a tetch more butter and let those potatoes think about it for a minute or two. Then throw in the tomatoes, the paste, and the broth, salt and pepper. Let it all simmer for a good twenty minutes. When the potatoes are tender, blend the soup in batches and return to the original pot. Add the sugar, stir. Then add cream, and let it cook just a little longer.

Last but oh so not least, throw in the fresh basil. I like to serve this soup with a green salad and baguette.