Recipe: Cream of Tomato Soup in Puff Pastry

Recipe: Cream of Tomato Soup in Puff Pastry - Click to enlarge
Recipe courtesy of Soup's On! by Leslie Jonath

Published by Chronicle Books

Cream of Tomato Soup in Puff Pastry

It was sometime around 1978 when Philippe Jeanty, now chef/owner of Bistro Jeanty in Napa Valley, was the chef at the nearby Domaine Chandon. While working on a tomato sauce, Philippe noticed that he had made more than he needed. He took the excess sauce and added cream and butter to make a tomato soup (and why not? Campbell’s was doing so well with theirs!). Still, Philippe wanted to make his soup different. That is when he thought of Paul Bocuse and his renowned truffle soup with pastry on top. He combined the two ideas and made one of the most famous recipes of his career.

These may be made up to 24 hours in advance and covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator before baking.

Serves 6

  • 10 to 12 tablespoons (5 to 6 ounces) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 large (about 1/2 pound) yellow onion, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 pound puff pastry sheets
  • 1 egg
  1. Melt 8 tablespoons of the butter in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic, peppercorns, thyme, and bay leaf; cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Do not let the onions color. Add the tomato paste and lightly “toast” the tomato paste to cook out the raw flavor, then add the tomatoes and 1 cup water, if needed (use only if tomatoes are not ripe and juicy). Simmer over low heat until the tomatoes and onions are very soft and broken down, 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. Purée by passing through a food mill (or use a blender in batches or a hand-held immersion blender, then strain). Return the soup to the pot. Add the cream and the white pepper, salt, and 2 to 4 more tablespoons butter to taste. Bring the soup to a simmer, then remove it from the heat. Allow the soup to cool for 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Divide the soup among six 8-ounce soup cups or bowls. Roll out the puff pastry to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out 6 rounds slightly larger than your cups. In a small bowl, beat together the egg with 1 tablespoon cold water. Use a brush to paint the dough with the egg wash and then 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.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  5. Lightly paint the top of the dough rounds with egg wash without pushing the dough down. Bake until the dough is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Do not open the oven in the first several minutes of cooking, as the dough may fall. Serve immediately.

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