Here’s something kind of retro for the holidays. It’s a very simple recipe that looks complicated – and it’s sure to wow your guests! You can use this technique with many different soups. You could even dress up a store-bought soup and easily pass it off as your own creation. I first came across this presentation back in cooking school when Paul Bocuse’s Truffle Soup named after President Giscard d’Estaing was all the rage. I’m sure it’s a technique that’s been around for ages though.
By the way this recipe is essentially the same as a Marinara sauce (just don’t add the tomato juice or cream, and puree it in a food mill instead of a blender). Make a double or triple batch, puree half for soup, and save the rest for pasta. The soup can be made well in advance, then heated and finished with the pastry crust just before serving.
Bisque de Tomates en Croute – Tomato Bisque with a Puff Pastry Crust – serves 4
One 28.5 oz. Can Whole Peeled Plum Tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
1 small Onion, chopped
1 T. Garlic, minced
2 T. Olive Oil
½ tsp Oregano, dried
½ tsp Basil, dried
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
1 cup Tomato Juice
½ cup Heavy Cream (optional)
4 oz. Goat Cheese Log, cut into 4 slices
1 sheet Puff Pastry, frozen (store bought is fine)
1 Egg Yolk
¼ cup Milk
Heat a 2 qt. saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add seasonings and dried herbs and cook for about 30 minutes. Add tomato juice, then puree in a blender. Add heavy cream and chill if not serving immediately, or keep hot for serving.
For pastry crust – cut rounds of puff pastry about ½” larger than the size of the soup bowls you will be using (try to use deep narrow bowls rather than wide shallow ones). You can roll the dough out thinner if you want a crispier crust, but the result will be fine either way. Set pastry aside in refrigerator between sheets of wax paper. Mix egg yolk and milk for egg wash in a small bowl.
Preheat oven to 400F. Place hot soup into bowls. Add a slice of goat cheese to each bowl. Wet the rim and outside edge of the bowl, and top each with a round of puff pastry. Press on the edges of the dough so it sticks to the bowl. Brush a thin layer of egg wash all over pastry and place bowls on a baking sheet in oven. Bake for 5-10 minutes until pastry is nicely browned. Serve immediately.