To make tomato concassé, place fresh tomatoes in boiling water for a few seconds to loosen the skins, then peel them, remove as many seeds as possible, and squeeze out the juice. Then dice them as finely as possible. Serve this intensely-flavored bisque with a good red wine and sourdough bread. Read Dave DeWitt's entire spicy spring soup article here.
8 cups sun-dried tomatoes
Water to cover
2 5-inch sprigs young sage
2 6-inch sprigs fresh rosemary
1 small bunch thyme
1 small bunch Italian parsley
1 lemon, cut into 1/2-inch slices
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 serrano chiles, seeds and stems removed, minced
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups tomato concassé
Melted butter for garnish
Add the sun-dried tomatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Turn the heat to medium. In a piece of cheesecloth, wrap the sage, rosemary, thyme, and parsley together and tie to make a bouquet garni. Add it to the water. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 2 hours, adding water if necessary.
Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the onion until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and lightly sauté. Reserve.
In a small saucepan, boil together the red wine and balsamic vinegar until it is reduced to 1/8 cup. Reserve.
When the sun-dried tomato mixture is done, remove the bouquet garni and the lemon slices. Add the reserved onion-garlic mixture, the reduced liquid, and the tomato concasée. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and puree until smooth, then strain. To serve the bisque hot, add a dollop of sweet butter and swirl across the surface. To serve cold, top with a dollop of citrus créme fraiche.