Sunday, September 14, 2008

cream of tomato soup

This recipe is based on the seriously amazing soup we tried at Bistro Jeanty in Yountville last month.

1/2 cup of unsalted butter
1/2 lb of yellow onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves, halved
1 bay leaf
1/2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp 2x concentrated tomato paste (or 1/4 cup regular tomato paste)
2 & 1/2 lbs ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
2 cups of heavy cream
2 cups of 2% milk
salt and pepper
to taste (white pepper preferred)

Melt 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 until the onions are translucent. (It is important not to let the onions caramelize). Add tomato paste and cook for about 3 minutes to cook the "raw" flavor out of the paste. Next add the tomatoes, and if your tomatoes are not the ripest, you can also add a half cup of water.

Simmer this for 30-40 minutes, staying on medium-low heat until the onions are soft and the tomatoes are broken down. Remove the bay leaf! Puree with an immersion blender, or food processor (be careful!). Strain the puree back into the pot with a fine mesh strainer, using the back of a spoon to press out all of the yummy goodness.

Once the puree is strained and the liquid is back in the pot, you may return the heat to medium-low, adding your cream, milk, salt, and pepper. Stir every few minutes, but don't let it come to a boil! When its hot, eat it up!

We also made some awesome crostini with the soup, and it couldn't have been easier. All we did was take some baguette and cut it into one inch rounds. We then Misto'ed the top with extra virgin olive oil, smeared on some chopped garlic, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, and topped it with shredded parmesan cheese.

These went into a 350 degree oven on a non-stick cookie sheet for about 15-17 minutes. When they came out, we topped them with fresh basil and dunked them into the soup!

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