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Tomato Consomme with Basil and Lemongrass

Chef Laurent Gras Recipes

Tomato Consomme with Basil and Lemongrass

Alta Editions

The fresh, sweet, acidic summer taste of tomato is enriched with the herbal and citrus flavors of lemongrass and basil. The richness of avocado and nuttiness of olive oil, as well as the natural sweetness of shrimp provide counterpoints.
— Laurent Gras

This Provence-inspired Tomato Consomme with Basil and Lemongrass recipe is a preview from chef Laurent Gras's multiple IACP award-winning cookbook, My Provence.

4 servings   |   Prep Time: 45 minutes   |   Cooking Time: 5 minutes



For the Tomato Consomme

  • 1 stalk (100 g) lemongrass
  • 4 ½ pounds (2 kg) ripe tomatoes, rinsed and dried
  • 4 teaspoons (20 g) sea salt
  • 20 leaves basil, cut into thin strips
  • 4 dashes Tabasco

For the Poached Shrimp

  • 2 slices lemon
  • Sea salt
  • 1 ⅓ pounds (600 g) black tiger prawns or other shrimp, heads removed, shell on, about 16 total

For the Avocado

  • 1 ripe avocado

For the Garnish

  • ½ small jalapeño, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
  • 4 leaves basil, finely shredded
  • 4 teaspoons (25 ml) extra-virgin olive oil


For the Tomato Consomme

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the outer layer of the lemongrass , and cut the stalk into 2- to 3-inch (5 to 7 cm) pieces. Remove the core of the tomatoes. In a blender or food processor, combine the cored tomatoes with the sea salt and pulse to produce a coarse purée. Don’t over blend the pulp or the end result will be cloudy. Add the basil and process for a few seconds more to combine. Season with Tabasco and process again. Wet 2 or 3 large coffee filters with water so they are damp. Arrange the filters in a large mesh sieve or pasta strainer, overlapping them to cover the whole surface. Place the lemongrass in a mixing bowl and set the strainer on top of the bowl. (You may need to use a wire rack over the bowl to raise the strainer enough to allow the juice to flow out.) Pour the tomato mixture into the filters. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until the juices have completely run through into the bowl , which usually takes about 3 hours. The tomatoes can also drain in the refrigerator overnight.

For the Poached Shrimp

  1. Fill a large bowl with water and ice. Place about a quart of water in a saucepan along with the lemon slices and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a roaring boil. Turn off the heat and add the shrimp. Allow the shrimp to poach for 5 minutes . Lift the shrimp out of the pan with a slotted spoon and shock in the ice water. Once chilled, peel the shells and pat dry. To remove the vein, use a small paring knife to cut along the outer edge of the back of each shrimp, about ¼-inch (½ cm) deep. Keep chilled.

For the Avocado

  1. Arrange four 10-inch (25 cm) squares of plastic wrap on a work surface. Quarter the avocado lengthwise and remove the pit and skin. Thinly slice each quartered avocado piece crosswise and place each sliced quarter on a separate piece of plastic wrap. Working one quarter at a time, flatten the avocado slices to create a fan. Season with sea salt. Pick up the 4 corners of the plastic wrap to enclose the avocado, and twist the plastic around the avocado to shape the flesh into a tight ball. Keep wrapped until ready to serve.

To Assemble the Dish

Place an avocado ball in the center of each chilled serving bowl and arrange the shrimp around the avocado. Garnish with the diced jalapeño and shredded basil. Pour in the tomato consomme. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil on the surface of each bowl of consomme just before

Get this recipe and over 40 other delicious Provence-inspired dishes in Laurent Gras: My Provence, the award-winning online cookbook from renowned chef Laurent Gras, for $9.99.
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