Sunday, October 20, 2013

Roasted Vegetable Bisque with crème fraiche
2 red peppers, seeded and chopped
2 onions, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 razor-thin lemon slices
3 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves (2 Tbsp., 1 Tbsp.)
1 bay leaf
half jalapeno pepper, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsp. olive oil (2 Tbsp., 2 Tbsp.)
2 slices stale French bread, broken up, toasted until brown and dry
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3C canned tomatoes in juice
3C chicken stock
1C dry white or red wine
1/4C crème fraiche, thinned if necessary with 1 or 2 Tbsp. cream
6 basil leaves, thinly sliced (garnish)

Preheat oven to 400F.  Arrange peppers, onions, garlic and lemon in a roasting pan.  Season with the thyme, bay leaf, jalapeno, salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the oil over the vegetables.  Roast for 25 - 30 minutes until they start to brown.

Put the bread and roasted vegetable mixture into a large pot with one tablespoon thyme, rosemary, 2 tablespoons olive oil, tomatoes, stock and wine.  Cook over medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.  Remove from the heat and puree in a blender at high speed.  Strain if desired through a sieve.

Season with salt and pepper and garnish with a swirl of thinned crème fraiche and fresh basil slices.
MAKES:  6 servings

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