All soups deserve something to dip into them. Instead of the old slice of toast, why not try puff pastry?
“What I love about this pie is the way it looks when it comes to the table, it’s so surprising,” chef and author Tori Haschka says. Prepare for a little bit of theatre. “The steam in the soup really helps puff the pastry lid up into a plumping dome shape; it’s a bit of a novelty.”
While the original San Francisco version called on double cream, you can cut the kJ count and saturated fat by substituting low fat milk and a filo or bread lid. “This is still a relatively creamy tomato soup but would also work by taking out the double cream completely and replacing that with milk or water for an even lighter version.”
Ingredients (serves 2 for a main, or 4 for starter)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, thinly sliced into half moons
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 peppercorns
- 3 tbsp tomato purée/paste
- 500 g ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 125ml double/heavy cream
- 2 tbsp goats’ cheese
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 handfuls basil leaves
- Stick blender
- 4 deep pie dishes
Melt the butter and olive oil in a heavy-based pan. Sauté the onions, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorns for 10 minutes, just until the onions have softened. Add the tomato purée/paste and turn the heat up to combine the tomato paste with the onions.
Add the tomatoes. Simmer with the lid on for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the onions and tomatoes catching on the bottom. Cook until the tomatoes have started breaking down and the onions are soft.
Preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F). Remove the bay leaf, then purée the tomatoes and onions with a stick blender. Add the cream and blitz until smooth (for extra smooth, pass it through a strainer). Season with salt and pepper and divide among the pie dishes. The soup should be lukewarm by now. Top each bowl of soup with crumbled goats’ cheese.
Roll out and cut the puff pastry into 4 squares, allowing some overhang over the pie dishes. Brush the pastry with beaten egg, then layer 4 basil leaves over it. Brush the top of the leaves with egg to secure them.
Affix it carefully, with the basil facing down, to the top of the pie dish – don’t let the soup touch the pastry. Pull it as tight as you can, like a drum, and fold it over the bowl with hospital corners at the side so that it fits tightly over the soup. Carefully brush the top of the pastry with beaten egg and add one or two more basil leaves to the top.
Bake for 15 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden. To serve, crack open a circle in the top of the pastry and peel it back. Drop extra basil leaves in the void.
kJ 1905 | Fat 19.85g | Carb 14.85g | Protein 16.5g
Recipe from A Suitcase and a Spatula ($39.95, Ryland Peters & Small), by Tori Haschka; Photography: by Isobel Wield; Images from the book: ©Ryland Peters & Small
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