Creamy, crusty French tomato soup

Have you ever searched the words “Tomato soup” in the internet? The variation is amazing, isn’t it?

Well, I was looking for a particular type – the creamy type with a crust on top, and came up with California-based Bistro Jentil’s  world’s famous tomato soup. Chef Jason Hill has been kind enough to explain the details of this recipe in a video.  And I did as he (and the recipe) said, except for replacing butter, reducing cream and simplifying it a little bit. The result was absolutely amazing, both the look and the taste. And my pictures are the proof I hope! Making this VERY French soup is not complicated at all, although it does involves several steps over two days (in my experience) for the best result.  

Ingredients (serving four : two large bowls or four small ones)

2-4 sheets puff pastry (buy from frozen section of supermarkets and make sure it comes in sheets). 8 medium size, fresh ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered. 6 garlic cloves, quartered. 1 medium onion, chopped. 2 cups (about 200 mg) heavy cream. 2 tbsp. tomato paste. 2 tbsp. olive oil. ½ tbsp. peppercorns. 1 teaspoon of dried thyme or rosemary. 1 bay leaf. Salt to taste

Method: In a big pot, heat olive oil and stir in onions and cook them down for five minutes over medium heat (we do not want them to change color). Stir in garlic for a minute. Add to the pan the following: cut tomatoes, tomato’s paste, pepper corns, thyme and bay leaf. Stir and simmer for 40 minutes on low heat, until the mix is soft.

Using blender, puree the soup for 1-2 minutes.

Rinse the pot, and use a rubber spatula  to strain mix soup back into the pot.

Add 2 cups of heavy cream. Add salt and stir well. Bring to boil, then immediately turn it off.

Pour the mix into appropriate crocks up to three quarter, and chill overnight.

Meanwhile, place your puff pastry in the refrigerator.

 The day after:

Take the pastry out of the fridge half an hour before starting to work. Turn your oven  in 450 F.

To cut the puff pastry, use a crock the same size you poured your soup in. Cut a circle around the bowl, leaving half an inch of an edge as shown in the picture so that the pastry would hang over the bowl.

Cover the crock with the pastry and tied it down like a drum and make sure the pastry does not fall down and touch the soup.

Mix one egg with 1 tbsp. water. Beat and lightly brush on top of the pastry.

Place the bowls in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Don’t open the oven during the baking.

Such a delightful surprise when you open the oven: Break the crust in the middle with spoon and indulge!

 

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