Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pear Bisque- Looking Toward Fall and the Harvest

Down East blog4
Apples and Pears are ripe and delicious. It's time to go picking. I've had a hankerin' for this pear soup. Its thicker than most bisques with the pulp of the fruit left in the soup. You could use apples instead if you've got them on hand. We talked about apples, squash and poultry at the last Aspiring Locavore class at the Morris Farm. A gal from Alna brought some honey crisps and mccouns from her trees. They were sweet and sour in turn. Apple crisp is definitely on the menu at home this week. Next month- the fourth Tuesday- the Aspiring Locavore will be talking about potatoes, turkey and oysters. Hope you can join us at the Morris Farm.

Pear Bisque
Serves 6
For an elegant first course, serve this bisque with a medallion of Appleton Creamery chèvre (goat cheese) and a sprinkle of pecans. Preferred wine is the Demi-Pear Wine from Winterport Winery.

3 T unsalted butter
1⁄2 c minced onion
1 T freshly grated ginger
1 small turnip, peeled and finely diced
2 T finely minced crystallized ginger
4 c chicken or vegetable stock
21⁄2 lb firm but ripe pears, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
1⁄4 lb dried pears, coarsely chopped
11⁄2 c heavy cream
1⁄3 c pear wine
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T lemon zest
3 T Maine maple syrup
1⁄2 t nutmeg
1⁄8 t allspice
1⁄8 t freshly ground white pepper, or to taste
extra cream for thinning
Garnish (optional):
1⁄4 c finely chopped pecans
6- 1⁄2-inch slices from a log of chèvre
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion and turnip about 8 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
Stir in the fresh and crystallized ginger and sauté another 2 minutes. Pour in the stock and bring the ingredients to a boil. Add the fresh and dried pears. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pan from the heat. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup in the pan or, working in batches, purée the soup in a blender until smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan. With heat on low, stir in the remaining ingredients and season to taste. Simmer about 30 minutes, stirring often. Thin with additional cream if desired.
Serve in pretty bowls, with a slice of chèvre and a sprinkle of chopped pecans.

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