The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

9:41 PM

What's for Dinner? - Ginger and Lavender Bisque

Posted by Magic of Spice

Ginger and Lavender Bisque
with Vegetables and White Tea

This is normally a soup I serve in the winter and fall,
as a veggie soup. So in honor of
Summer I have turned this veggie soup into
a creamy and fragrant chilled bisque.
As you may have read in other posts,
we have an abundance of fresh herbs growing in the garden.
With lavender by no means the exception.
And had some extraordinary fresh organic
vegetables on hand (not from my garden sadly).
I used Chamomile syrup as my sweetening agent.
If you would like to make your own, click here
Note: This is a slow cooking soup, and is best repaired
in a Crockpot for 10-12 hours. 

What you will need:
1 1/2 cups mirepoix, coarsely chopped
(aka carrots, onion and celery)
Note: I used baby red pearl onions
2-16 ounce containers vegetable broth
2 cups lavender, coarsely chopped
5 bags of white tea, or the equivalent
2-3 fresh bay leaves, whole
1 small bunch sage, coarsely chopped
1 small bunch marjoram, coarsely chopped
1 shallot, coarsely chopped
1 head of garlic, minced
2 ounces crystallized ginger, diced
3-4 tablespoons chamomile syrup, or other sweetener
1/4 cup dry cream sherry, or to taste (I used more:)
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for sauté
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for sauté
8 ounces creme fraiche
A bit of cream or milk, depending on desired texture
Large crockpot
Food processor or blender
Cheese cloth and twine, or bouquet garni bags

Note: Adjust the following to the size of pot you are using
1 small bunch of asparagus, coarsely chopped
2-3 zucchini, coarsely chopped
1-2 yellow squash, coarsely chopped
1 cup butternut squash, cubed
1 medium yellow bell pepper
1 medium orange bell pepper
2-3 small bunches broccolini
2-3 small orange tomatoes

Let's get cooking:
In a sauce pan, add a small amount of butter and olive oil
sauté your mirepoix, until just tender
Transfer your mirepoix to a large crockpot
Add vegetable broth to the mix
Take your fresh herbs, reserving a large pinch
of lavender and the bay leaves.
Place the fresh herbs in a bouquet garni,
excluding the bay leaves and pinch of lavender.
Do the same with your white tea or tea bags.
Place both bouquet garni in crockpot.
Add all remaining ingredients to the pot.
Place crockpot on medium/high
Add salt and pepper to taste
Allow to slow cook for 10 or more hours,
until all vegetables are very tender.
Chill soup completely in refrigerator.

Note: It is best to make the soup
a day ahead of time if you are able...
The prepare the bisque the day of serving.

Preparing the bisque:
Strain chilled soup into a large mixing bowl.
Add strained ingredients into a food processor, 1/3 at a time.
Blend on high, until all ingredients have incorporated.
Divide creme fraiche into thirds.
Slowly add your cream to food processor.
Continue to blend until creamy.
Add additional cream or milk if needed.
Do this with each third, adding salt and pepper as needed.
Serving suggestion:
We served with a wonderful smoked brie,
along with savory rolls of rosemary and parmesan.
A some olive oil for drizzle and a bit
of fleur de sel...

Fresh herb floral  arrangement

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