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Creamy and smooth, this tomato soup is perfect for gatherings on cold evenings
Melt the 1/2 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. Don’t let the onions color. Add tomato paste and lightly “toast” the tomato paste to cook out the raw flavor, then add tomatoes and water if needed. [My tomatoes weren’t very juicy, so I added about 3/4 cup of water. I wish I wouldn’t have. Next time I’m not adding any water.] 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, then strain. [I used a regular old blender, then I strained it back into the pot.] Return the soup to the pot. Add the cream, salt, white pepper and remaining butter to taste. [Be sure to taste and add salt as necessary. The color is gorgeous, and the texture is like silk...beautiful] Bring soup to a simmer then 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. [Next time I make them I’m going to let them come to room temperature before I bake them.]
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Lightly paint the top of the dough rounds with egg wash without 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 of cooking as the dough may fall. Serve immediately.
Repeated strains may be needed to ensure a smooth consistency.
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