Just a hop, skip and a jump across the Delaware River, in the quaint town of Sergeantsville, NJ, is one of my favorite restaurants, the Sergeantsville Inn.
While Chef/Owner Joseph Clyde never fails to impress diners with every delicious, beautifully presented meal I have several favorites. But one takes first prize every time for me. It's his signature Tomato Bisque soup.
Before it folded, a well-known food magazine, once approached Clyde wanting to write an article about his Tomato Bisque. One of the requirements of the magazine is the chef is asked to surrender the recipe. Clyde graciously declined saying it had taken him 30 years to perfect the recipe and wasn't about to give it up. But ask the Inn's fun-loving, gregarious and handsome bartender, Dylan Carew, who tells the story better than I have.
Whenever we have dinner there I almost always have a bowl of this rich, incredibly delicious bisque. It's that good. No, it's that great!!!!
But after eating and enjoying it for a number of years I was fairly sure I could (somewhat) deconstruct the recipe. Before I give you my version, I want to make it perfectly clear I am not out to best (or guess) Clyde's recipe because no one will ever make a better Tomato Bisque. His will always be the BEST. Besides my version uses a ubiquitous ingredient I am sure is not part of Clyde's recipe.
So without further adieu here is my version of the Sergeantsville Inn's Tomato Bisque:
1 10-3/4 oz. can of Campbell's Harvest Orange Tomato Soup
1 medium shallot, peeled and finely diced
1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Splash of white wine
1 pint of Half & Half
Dash of dill
Sauté shallots in unsalted butter until opaque about 5-6 minutes. Do not brown. Add the white wine and cook until the wine evaporates. Add the tomato soup (do not dilute) and stir until the shallots are incorporated and the soup is heated through. Add the Half & Half slowly stirring until fully incorporated. The bisque should be somewhat thick. Before serving and if you're using dried dill, add three pinches of dill and stir. There's just a hint of dill in the bisque.
Again, as I mentioned earlier, Clyde's version is, and always will be, the BEST!!! I'm also positive there's a few more ingredients I am unable to discern and it takes a lot longer to make.