10 ea Tomatoes 5x6 (char grilled)
2 #10 can Canned whole tomatoes, peeled
2 oz Tomato Paste
3 ea Onions, sliced (caramelized)
4 ea Red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, cut in half (char grilled)
3 oz Tequila
0.5 oz chipotle puree
16 oz heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste
4 tsp thyme picked, no stems
6 leaves basil, leaves picked
3 Tbsp garlic, minced
64 oz Vegetable Stock
20 oz crème firache
2 lbs cheddar cheese, shredded
1 qt micro greens
10 oz basil oil
1. Char grill the onions, peppers, tomatoes.
2. Heat a stock pot to medium high then add oil and the onions and continue to carmelize, add the garlic and thyme, then add the bell peppers and charred tomatoes, deglaze with a little tequila, chipotle peppers and tomato paste.
3. Add the tomatoes from the can and the veggie stock and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Add the basil and simmer for about 2 hours very slowly, stirring as needed, add the cream and reduce for only 20 more minutes.
4. Use the stick blender to pulse through the soup, add seasoning.
5. Fill the blender 1/2 way with soup to be pureed, using the smoking gun, flame it, and fill the blender with a cloud of smoke, cover and let it sit for 3-5 minutes.
6. Purée the soup until perfectly smooth, nice and thick, taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
7. Repeat 5 and 6 until all soup is puréed and ready.
8. For the garnish, Pile 1 to 4 Tablespoons of cheese (depending on the size you want) on a baking sheet covered with a silicone mat or parchment paper oiled on both sides. Flatten the tops so they are in more or less an even pile. There should be at least two inches between smaller mounds, 4 inches between larger ones. Bake 5 to 6 minutes until they are a light golden brown.
9. Pour hot soup into a bowl, quenelle a spoon of creme friache and place in the center, drizzle basil oil around the soup, top the creme with a cheese crisp and micro greens and serve.
Recipe provided by Ashley Santo Domingo, Executive Chef, 24 carrots Catering & Events, Irvine, CA as presented at the 2014 Art of Catering Food conference in Atlanta, GA.