This was a special request. On our last night on the island, we enjoyed a night out. Sadly, what was promised as a bisque loaded with fresh Caribbean lobster meat was watery, thin, bland and worst, had a tablespoon (being generous) of meat.
We hit the Farmer's Market on Sunday and we were standing in front of the most beautiful display of summer squash. Jackie was reminded of the last bisque I made. Well, I live to please.
First, do you all know the difference between a bisque and a soup? Pretty easy, soups have chunks of veggies, while a bisque is run through a blender or a processor so the entire soup is pureed. This is actually a hybrid, I pureed the squash, onions, carrots, garlic and chicken broth in my food processor...
Que the Joanie Mitchel, Big Yellow Taxi cause, "You don't know what you've got till it's 2.500 miles away while you are sitting on a beach". Food processor - is there a more useful kitchen appliance? Have I mentioned my appreciation for my well stocked kitchen? But I am musically digressing...
As I said, this is mostly bisque, but now is the season for sweet corn and I wanted to add that extra bit into the soup. So, once most of the veggies were pureed, I added some corn. Does this make it a soup???
Don't know, don't care, it makes it delicious!
Here's what I did...
4 cloves roasted Garlic (roasted heightens the flavor, just wrap in aluminum foil with a tad bit of Olive Oil, bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees)
3 TBS Butter
2 medium size Butternut Squash, peeled and seeded, rough dice
1 large yellow Onion, rough dice
4 large Carrots, peeled and diced
4 stalks of Celery, diced
3 cups Chicken Broth
2 TBS "Not Your Grandmother's Herbes de Provance" (herb mixture, use whatever you like, dill, rosemary, thyme... or, be a cook and make a batch of your own Herbes de Provance and have handy so that you can add this complicated mixture to your own soups easily... but I digress)
1 cup Half and Half
1 pound of Crab Meat
the Corn Kernels from 2 ears of Sweet Corn
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Cajun Spice Mix to taste (Better than Salt and Pepper)
This all comes together so fast and easy. The vegetables (except for the corn) all get run through the food processor, so no need for precise cuts and dices.
- Start the garlic roasting (foil, oil, 350 degree oven for 30 minutes)
- In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat
- Start cutting and adding the vegetables, sauté as you go... Carrots first
- Onion next
- Squash next
- Celery next
- Continue to sauté for another 5 minutes. It takes less than 5 minutes total to cut all the veggies. If you are a slow cutter, you can do all that at once. But honestly, just get the butter started and with the rough cuts, the veggies all get cut fast. Just cut and add to the pot, cut and add.
- Add the "Not Your Grandmother's Herbes de Provance"
- Once the veggies are beginning to soften, and sweat out their liquids, add 3 cups of chicken broth (or stock). Cover the pot and reduce to simmer until the squash is tender (about 30 minutes).
- While that is simmering, boil your corn for about 3 minutes only. Slightly underdone, but the bisque will continue the cooking process. After it cools for a bit, slice the kernels from the cob.
- Dice the crab meat.
- Grate your Parmesan Cheese
- Here's the only slightly difficult part. At the end of 30 minutes, add the 1/2 and 1/2 and the roasted garlic. Pour about half of the soup in to your food processor and puree. It took about 30 seconds to get the right consistency, just a little thick and visible tiny chunks. Pour that into a bowl and repeat with the remaining soup.
- Pour everything back into the soup pot, add the corn and 1/2 the crab meat and mix well and simmer for another 5 minutes to heat the corn and crab.
- When you serve, garnish with cheese and the remaining crab meat.
While filled with flavors, there is not much seasonings. Jackie loved this bisque as is. Me, I added a couple tsp of my Cajun Spice Mix. Added just a bit more of a kick.
Here are a couple photos to give you an idea of how it all comes together...
I love sweet corn right now. So why not serve with a little cob of corn, real butter... killer!
This bisque is amazing. The sweetness of the corn and crab meat really adds a wonderful taste. Nice and thick, rich and meaty... Everything you should want in a bisque and everything a restaurant should serve (but didn't).
And best of all, all the veggies came from my Farmer's market visit. Freshest ingredients possible!
I own the cookbook.
I own his towels (really, Bobby Flay is selling towels at Kohls. That BF is Bobby's logo).
Now I know how to make Bobby Flay Mesa Grill Blue and Yellow Corn Muffins. Look at all the corn, red peppers and jalapeños bursting through the wonderful presentation with the yin/yang look of the blue corn meal.
But that's going to be tomorrow's post.