Carrot & Meyer Lemon Bisque, Togarashi Cream, Crispy Kale

Carrot & Meyer Lemon Bisque, Togarashi Cream, Crispy Kale

We have been asked more than a few times for a description of how we make this bisque at events over the last few months. I appreciate everyone being so patient while we waited for our badly needed website update and worked a particularly busy May, June and July. While some may be disappointed that there is no detailed recipe per se, below I have tried to outline the most important aspects of how to bring this dish together, giving general instruction and providing tips as I would my chefs in the BLC kitchen. While this soup is not technically a classic bisque made from crustaceans, or even a neo-classic bisque made from vegetables with cream or rice as a thickening agent, it is an ultra-rich soup that is wearing its cream on top rather than in its base. Therefore, it was our idea to call this a bisque. As chefs we get to take liberties; it’s one of the perks of the job…

Chicken stock is the backbone of the soup, make sure it is awesome. We use chicken feet for extra richness. Trust us, you want that.
Carrots are also super important for this soup (its carrot soup, right). We swear by Full Belly bulk carrots for this, they aren’t that pretty but we are going to puree them, so it doesn’t matter. What matters is that they are delicious.
For the garnish, use Dino Kale. Massage rice bran oil (sub vegetable oil if need be) into the kale leaves. Place kale on a sheet pan and into a 325f oven for about ten minutes. When its ready it will sound like paper rustling. Keep the Kale in an airtight container for up to three days.
Sautéing the vegetables for the soup helps release sugars, get rid of excess moisture and develop flavor. This step is key to building deliciousness in the dish. Included here are onions, celery, a little fennel and two garlic cloves.
The seasonings should be added towards the end of the sauté so they release their essential oils but do not burn in the process. Included are fresh bay leaves from our tree, turmeric, white peppercorns, cumin seeds and coriander seeds.
Bring all the vegetables and seasonings together over steady heat to blend flavors for just a few minutes before adding the chicken stock.
Here we add the all-important chicken stock and begin to simmer the soup. Simmering the vegetables for about an hour will give them the time they need to break down to a very soft and very ‘blendable’ state. Adding a touch of cream at this point wouldn’t be a bad thing…
Straining the soup is going to make the texture amazingly silky. Don’t skip this step. Its super important. If you don’t own a fine mesh strainer (known as a chinois), go buy one. Once strained, monte the soup with a little butter (just don’t boil it after the addition).
This is the easiest part of the entire recipe. Whip really good cream with really good tamari (we use white tamari). Add the tamari towards the end of whipping the cream but when the peaks are still really soft, then quit before the cream seizes. Add tamari to taste.
Gently heat the soup and the bowls. Carefully place the finished soup in the bowls and top with the tamari whipped cream. Togarashi (japanese spice powder) goes on next for a kick and the dish is finished with the crispy kale.

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