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heirloom·modern: Eldress Hall’s 1907 Tomato Bisque

20 Nov

Hmmm… It seems I should re-name heirloom·modern. Maybe, Heirloom Tomato Modern? Of the now five entries in this occasional editorial feature, three are for tomato soup. Why? I have no idea. Perhaps in the past tomato soups were more flexible, more interesting, more varied. Or, maybe I just really like tomato soup!

heirloom·modern: Eldress Hall’s 1907 Shaker Tomato Bisque

What was the occasion that called for yet another tomato soup? I had just pulled “the best thing ever to come out of my kitchen” from the oven, and while it was cooling I realised I needed a simple foil for this “best thing.”

Shaker Tomato Bisque

I didn’t feel like running to the market, my brain felt wibbly from hunger and exertion, I wanted something quick and easy. I poked my head in the fridge. Aha! A carton of Pomis! I poked my nose in The Best Of Shaker Cooking. Aha! A simple tomato bisque! (The Shakers are so reliable for simple, quick recipes). Et voila! Dinner was decided.

There are three recipes for tomato soup in this amazing book, but this one from Frances Hall intrigued me with its inclusion of baking soda.

Although she is not noted as being a member of the faithful at Hancock Village, this reference leads me to believe that Frances Hall was actually the last eldress of this beautiful village that is now a working museum (and definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area, A. because it didn’t bore me as a 7th grader on a field trip and B. There’s an amazing restaurant there).

And what of the baking soda? As near as I can figure it added a delicate lightness to this soup which would be very, very necessary if you followed the original recipe which calls for 1 quart of milk (most likely whole and with cream back then) and 1/2 cup of heavy cream! I did not follow those measurements and, after tasting the soup sans dairy and realising it tasted just like Campbell’s, embarked on some very necessary modernising.

I cut down on the dairy, added some garlic and tossed in some slightly spicy, seductively smoky Spanish pimenton de la vera. The pepper added such a lovely, almost bacon-y flavor. Utterly delicious!

Shaker Tomato Bisque

And what is “the best thing ever to come out of my kitchen?” You’ll just have to stay tuned til tomorrow (or snoop around on my flickr page, should be pretty obvious from there).

Head below the jump for my adaptation of Eldress Hall’s Tomato Bisque.

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