Jason and Brooke Watorek
Simmer a Flavourful Bisque
Photography by John Liviero, Sooters Photography
“I started cooking the roasted red pepper and tomato bisque when Jason and I first got married because we planted a huge garden and WAY over-planted tomato and pepper plants. From there I started looking for recipes that I could make using up a large number of our veggies at one time. It was fun to try and be creative. Over time I adjusted the recipe and made tweaks to it, but it’s still something I make on a regular basis because the whole family loves it on a Fall or Winter day!
“The Caesar dressing recipe holds a special place in our memories because on the weekend we got engaged, we went to the 360 CN Tower restaurant. This was the chef’s specialty dressing. We both love a good Caesar salad, but don’t enjoy the creamy dressings. This is a tangy, oil-based dressing that is to die for! We add it with the soup for Jason, my son Declan and I. My daughter
Portia, however, won’t touch the ‘yucky green stuff’!”
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque
• 2 large red bell peppers
• 4 large Roma tomatoes
• 1 medium onion
• 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
• 6 cups Chicken Broth (can sub for vegetable broth if preferred)
• ¼ cut Heavy Cream
• 1 1/2 Tbsp dried dill
• 1 Tbsp garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp each sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
• 1 tsp butter
• 1 pinch red pepper flake (optional for heat)
Wash red peppers and cut in half, discarding seeds and stem. Wash and cut in half tomatoes, discarding stem. Cut the onion in half, leaving the skin on. Lay flat, cut half down, on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Roast in a 500˚F (260˚ C) oven until tender and charred on all sides – about 10-15 minutes in the oven. Place the red peppers in a glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. This will help the peppers finish steaming and will make it easier to remove the skins. While the peppers steam, remove the skins from the onion and tomatoes and discard. Once all skins on onion, tomatoes and peppers have been removed, place the roasted vegetables in the pot.
In the meantime, add chicken broth, tomato paste, and garlic to the pot and bring to a simmer.
Using an immersion blender, purée soup until soup is a nice, smooth consistency with no chunky bits. Simmer over medium-low heat, adding dill, salt, pepper and optional red pepper flakes. Stir in heavy cream and butter. Let simmer on low for at least 10 more minutes. The longer it simmers, the deeper the flavor develops.
Serve as is or top with desired toppings, such as croutons, fresh dill or basil, mozzarella balls or parmesan cheese.
360 Caesar Salad Vinaigrette
• 2 ¼ cups pure olive oil
• 1 cup red wine vinegar
• 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
• 2 tbsp garlic puree
• 1 tbsp capers
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• Juice of 2 lemons
• ¼ tbspTabasco
• ¼ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree. If allowed to sit overnight the dressing will break (separate). This is ok and just needs vigorous stirring to come back to the proper creamy consistency. The seasoning should push to the extreme as the romaine leaves will probably be somewhat wet from washing and this can mellow the impact. The olive oil and the cheese are important. Real Parmesan makes a big difference to the flavour because it adds the sweetness to soften the otherwise strong flavours. This is a recipe with a lot of bite due to the high acid and garlic content so when tasting it is best to use a piece of lettuce so as to get the proper final balance of flavours. Lightly drizzle the vinaigrette over a salad of bite-sized pieces of romaine lettuce just before serving.