Chef Philippe Jeanty
Tomato soup, the quintessential lunchtime warmer, gets an upgrade in this elevated take from chef Philippe Jeanty. Simple rounds of prepared puff pastry crown these bowls of creamy soup, lending texture and substance to the dish. Out of season, the soup could also be prepared with canned tomatoes, taking care to adjust liquid accordingly.
10 oz. unsalted butter
1 lb. yellow onions, sliced
12 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp. whole black peppercorns
2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 cup tomato paste
5 lbs. tomatoes, cored and quartered
2 qt. heavy cream
1 tsp. ground white pepper
4 lbs. puff pastry
2 eggs, beaten with 2 tbsp. water
1. In large stockpot over medium-low heat, melt 8 ounces butter. Add onions, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme. Cover and cook about 5 minutes, or until onions are soft. Do not let onions brown.
2. Add tomato paste. Stir briefly to cook out the raw flavor.
3. Add tomatoes and 2 cups water, if needed. Simmer, over low heat 30-40 minutes or until tomatoes and onions are very soft.
4. Puree mixture through a food mill. (Or use a blender or immersion blender, straining after blending.)
5. Return soup to stockpot. Add cream, pepper and remaining butter. Season with salt to taste. Simmer soup to heat through. Remove from heat. Refrigerate until completely cooled.
6. Portion soup into 24 8-ounce soup cups or bowls. Roll out puff pastry 1/4-inch thick. Cut into 24 rounds slightly larger than cups. Paint each round with egg wash. Place, egg wash side down, over tops of cups. Press overhanging dough against sides of cups, pulling lightly to make a taut lid. Do not let dough touch soup. (Can be assembled up to 24 hours ahead, covered and refrigerated.)
7. For each serving, to order, egg wash dough, taking care not to push it into soup. Bake at 450 F for 10-15 minutes, or until dough is puffed and golden. Do not open oven during first several minutes of cooking to prevent dough from falling.
8. Serve immediately.
Photo courtesy of California Milk Marketing Board