Five Spiked Soups

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Charred Eggplant Bisque with “Everything Bagel” Crumble and Riesling

Recipe courtesy David Fuñe, executive chef, Splashes at Surf & Sand Resort, Laguna Beach, California

This hearty vegetarian soup was inspired by a food truck competition, in which Chef David Fuñe had to use a specific ingredient: eggplant. The dish he made created the basis of this rich Riesling-spiked soup, perfect for the winter season. And while everything bagels are not actually used in the recipe, Fuñe recreated their flavor profile by adding a homemade crumble topping for texture.

For the soup

1½ pounds eggplant, skin on
½ cup organic butter
½ pound yellow onions, peeled, diced
½ pound celery stalks, diced
⅓ pound carrots, peeled,  diced
2 garlic cloves, whole
1 tablespoons fresh thyme, leaves
2 cups Alsatian Riesling
Pinch of salt and pepper
6 Yukon potatoes, sliced to 1-inch thick
1 cup heavy cream
8 cups organic vegetable stock
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Char the eggplant on stove or over fire grill, approximately 15 minutes, reserve. Heat the butter in a large cooking pan and sauté the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and potatoes over medium-high heat. Season with the thyme, salt and pepper. Deglaze the pan with the Riesling. Add the vegetable stock and heavy cream and cook for 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add eggplant and remove mixture to a blender. Blend at high speed (a Vitamix is recommended) until very smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.

For forbidden rice purée

2 cups overcooked forbidden rice
4 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
¼ cup vegetable stock (as needed)

Place the rice, soy sauce and vinegar in a blender. Blend at high speed until very smooth. Add a bit of vegetable stock to create the consistency of crème fraiche. Place the mixture in pastry bag or squeeze bottle. Set aside.

For “everything bagel crumble”

3 tablespoons black and white sesame seeds, toasted
½ tablespoons dehydrated onion
½ tablespoons garlic powder
½ tablespoons poppy seeds
½ tablespoons fennel seed, ground
½ tablespoons black pepper, cracked
½ tablespoons sunflower seeds, toasted
2 tablespoon kosher salt

Blend sesame seeds, onion, garlic powder, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, pepper, sunflower seeds and salt in a bowl. Set aside until needed.

Pour hot soup into a rimmed bowl. Swirl a thin circular pattern on the surface of the soup with forbidden rice purée. Top with everything bagel crumbles. Serves 6.

The Pour: Ante Dapic, food and beverage director, recommends Spellbound 2011 Petite Sirah from California to pair with the eggplant soup. “The combination of the creamy eggplant along with the sweet floral notes from the wine and coating textures play delicately with the Sirah,” says Dapic.

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Five Spiked Soups

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