Late Summer Tomato Bisque With Shaved Fennel Salad
Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 quarts of bisque
This soup is the quintessential celebration of the peak of the harvest season. Sweet tomatoes and caramelized onions are brightened and spiced by the basil, and silkened with the cream. Put together a blend of heirlooms and local slicing tomatoes for perfect color and flavor.
For the Bisque
- 2 pounds fresh tomatoes Add to list
- 3 tablespoons olive oil Add to list
- 1 sweet onion, peeled and chopped Add to list
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped Add to list
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth Add to list
- Salt and pepper to taste Add to list
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves Add to list
- 1 cup heavy cream Add to list
- A touch of honey (if desired) Add to list
Basil Caper Sauce
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves Add to list
- 2 tablespoons capers Add to list
- 2 cloves garlic Add to list
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil Add to list
Shaved Fennel Salad
To prepare tomatoes, cut the stem out of each with the tip of a knife and then cut the tomatoes in half crosswise. Place one half, cut side down, on the outspread fingers of your hand, over a small bowl. Squeeze gently with the other hand until the juice and seeds are released into the bowl. Repeat with the rest of the tomatoes. Chop the tomato flesh into 3/4-inch pieces.
In a heavy pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic over medium heat until golden, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the basil. If the tomatoes aren't perfectly sweet, add a touch of honey. Allow the soup to cool slightly.
You may now either purée the soup in batches in a blender or food processor, or purée it in the pot with a handheld immersion blender. Bring the soup back to a gentle simmer in the pot, and add the cream. Adjust the seasoning to your taste.
To serve: Ladle the soup into soup bowls and swirl with Basil Caper Sauce. Top with the Shaved Fennel Salad and fennel fronds.
For Basil Caper Sauce
Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
For Shaved Fennel Salad
Thinly slice the fennel and radishes. (You may shave these on a mandolin if you are lucky enough to own one.) Toss together with the rest of the ingredients.
Recipe by, PCC Chef
Source: Demonstrated on KING 5's "Gardening with Ciscoe" show aired on August 30, 2008