This tomato soup recipe comes to us courtesy of Bistro Jeanty in Yountville, and is one of their signature recipes. Their entire menu is divine, but this creamy, buttery Crême de Tomate en Croutes is not to be missed!
½ cup butter unsalted
½ lb yellow onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
½ Tbsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 ½ lb tomatoes-ripe, cored, and quartered
1 cup water (use only if tomatoes are not ripe and juicy)
4 cups heavy cream
2-4 Tbsp butter
salt to taste
½ tsp. ground white pepper
1 lb puff pastry (or store-bought sheets)
1 ea egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp water
Melt the ½ cup butter in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Do not let the onions color! Add tomato paste and lightly “toast” the paste to cook out the raw flavor, then add tomatoes and water if needed. Simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes, or until the tomatoes and onions are very soft and broken down.
Purée mixture by passing through a food mill. A food mill works best, but you may use a blender or a handheld immersion blender as well. Strain the mixture and return soup to the pot. Add the cream, salt, the remaining butter, and white pepper to taste. Bring soup to a simmer, and propmptly remove from heat. Allow the soup to cool at least two hours or overnight in refrigerator.
Once cooled, divide soup among six 8-ounce soup cups or bowls. Roll out puff pastry to 1/4 inch thickness, and cut into six rounds slightly larger than your cups. Paint the dough with the egg wash and turn the circles (egg wash side down) over the tops of the cups, pulling lightly on the sides to make the dough somewhat tight like a drum. Take care not to let the dough touch the soup. These may be made up to 24 hours in advance and covered with plastic in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Carfully paint the top of the dough rounds with egg wash without pushing down the dough. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the pastry top is golden brown. Do not open the oven in the first several minutes of cooking as the dough may fall. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Photo by Foodographer