Recipe from Chef Josh Watkins, Carillon, Austin

2 bulbs fennel, julienne
8 cloves garlic, diced
8 sprigs thyme
3 sheets gelatin
1 cup vodka
1 cup heavy whipping cream
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt to taste
4 large shallots, julienne
1 cup white wine
16 ripe Roma tomatoes
2 cups canola oil

For the Fennel Confit:
In medium saucepot combine 1 bulb fennel, 4 cloves garlic, and 4 sprigs of thyme. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and let simmer 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and strain. Remove thyme and discard.

For the Vodka Gelle:
In a small mixing bowl bloom gelatin in cold water. In a small pot combine gelatin and vodka. Warm just enough to dissolve gelatin. Chill mixture on sheet pan with parchment paper for 4 hours. Cut to desired portions

For the Olive Oil Crema:
In a mixing bowl combine heavy cream and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mix to desired consistency and salt to taste.

For the soup:
In large saucepot sauté shallots, 1 bulb fennel, and 4 cloves garlic in remaining olive oil. Deglaze with white wine. Add 4 sprigs of thyme and tomatoes. Let simmer 30 minutes. Remove thyme purée and strain. Salt to taste.

Garnish bowl with Fennel, Gelle, and Crema. Pour soup into bowl tableside.
Serves 4.