Note by Phyllis Brown: The first time I had this delightful bisque was at Stella’s Deli in downtown Lexington. Stella’s is “dedicated to local farmers and to supporting local food economies. Their mission is to produce simple, high-quality foods that emphasize the superior flavors and textures of fresh, local ingredients”. Everything is made by hand, there at the tiny shop, using seasonal ingredients. Saturday morning brunch is the thing to do before or after hitting the farmers’ market which is close by. When I complimented her on the bisque she told me it was made with artichoke hearts – no cream – to give it that yummy thickness – and seasoned with lime juice! So, of course, with all our tomatoes I had to make my own! I wash my cherry and pear tomatoes, put them between two towels to dry, bag and freeze. During the winter I pull out a bag and make this bisque! This is my recipe from remembrance of that delicious goodness from Stella’s Deli! Last night I made this bisque with yellow pear tomatoes and large Mr. Stripey tomatoes – yellow with red streaks. You can use any combination or color tomatoes you choose.
- 25 yellow pear tomatoes
- 2 large yellow tomatoes, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 10 artichoke hearts
- zest of 2 limes, reserving one to zest when serving
- juice of one lime
- 1/2 large red onion, chopped
- 3 small stalks celery, chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
Place all ingredients into a large pan except reserved lime zest and thyme leaves. Slowly bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree soup. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Add thyme leaves. When serving, top with lime zest. Enjoy!