Thursday, May 19, 2016

Bistro Jeanty Part I

It's been 7 months since our trip to Sonoma and Napa Valley for my husband's birthday and we're still thinking about the food we ate and places we visited.  A couple of weeks ago, I searched online and found the original recipe (reprinted below without changes) for the cream of tomato soup we had a Bistro Jeanty, a delicious french restaurant in Yountville.  Like many post-vacation experiments, my re-creation didn't live up to the original.  I skimped a little on the cream and I don't think my tomatoes were as fresh and flavorful as they could have been.  I may try it later this summer with farm fresh tomatoes.  The other thing that didn't work out so hot was the puff pastry top - imagine a puff pastry pot pie crust over the tomato soup.  Mine fell into the soup and I rescued it, made some puff pastry triangles to eat on the side, and was overall disappointed.  However, I believe in what I ate there and this recipe is from their chef, so I want to try it again and I hope if you try it, you have better luck!

Cream of Tomato Soup in Puff Pastry (serves 6)
From Bistro Jeanty (unedited)
½ cup butter unsalted
½ lb. Yellow onions-sliced
6 ea. Garlic cloves
1 ea. Bay leaf
½ T Whole black peppercorns
1 tsp. Dried thyme leaves
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 ½ lb. tomatoes-ripe, cored, and quartered
1 cup water (no more-use onlyif tomatoes are not ripe and juicy)
4 cups heavy cream
2- 4 Tbl. Butter
salt to taste
½ tsp. Ground white pepper
1 lb. Puff pastry-or store bought sheets
1 ea. Egg- beaten with 1 Tbl. of 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 tomato paste to cook out the raw flavor the add tomatoes, and water if needed. Simmer over low heat for 30-40
minutes, until the tomatoes and onions are very soft and broken down.

Puree by passing through a food mill. A food mill works best however you may use a blender in batches or a handheld immersion blender until finished, the strain. Return the soup o the pot. Add the cream, salt, white pepper and remaining butter to taste. Bring soup to a simmer the remove from heat. Allow the soup to cool for two hours or overnight - in the refrigerator.

Divide the soup among six 8-ounce soup cups or bowls. Roll out the puff pastry to 1/4 inch. Cut into 6 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. Try not to allow the dough to 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. Lightly paint the top of the dough rounds with egg wash with out pushing the dough down. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. Do not open the oven in the first several minutes as the dough may fall.  Serve immediately.

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