Soup for Ramadan
A new associate is observing the month of Ramadan a holy month of fasting for Muslims worldwide. So perhaps a bit of research and a post or two on the food of Ramadan is in order.
It is traditional to typically have two main meals during Ramadan: the Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and the Iftar (breaking-of-the-fast meal). Because of the lunar calendar, Ramadan falls at different times each year, so seasonal foods will often make their way onto the Ramadan table, changing things up just a little each time.
There is always some form of soup is almost always on the Iftar table (even summer) regardless of ethnic cuisine, because it is said to prepare the digestive system for other foods to come. Some favorites that come to mind are lentil soups, butternut squash, vegetable soups and others.
Bisque is a thick, creamy, highly-seasoned soup of French origin, classically made from lobster, crab, shrimp or crayfish. Also, creamy soups made from vegetables instead of seafood are sometimes called bisques. Bisque is a method of extracting every bit of flavor from imperfect crustaceans not good enough to send to market. In an authentic bisque, the shells are ground to a fine paste and added to thicken the soup.
Julia Child even remarked, “Do not wash anything off until the soup is done because you will be using the same utensils repeatedly and you don’t want any marvelous tidbits of flavor losing themselves down the drain.” Bisque are often thickened with rice, which can either be strained out, leaving behind the starch, or pureed upon the final stages.
Bisque is also sometimes used to refer to cream-based soups that do not contain seafood, in which the ingredients are pureed or processed in a food processor or a food mill. Common varieties include tomato, mushroom, and squash bisque