Bistro Jeanty Creamy Tomato Soup and Sunny Focaccia with Brie and Grape Tomatoes
It should be called electric soup. The taste will shock you!!
Last year we went on a trip to San Francisco and Napa Valley. Two of my favorite places on earth. We went to celebrate my husbands birthday (this was a big one, I won’t say the age). Usually every year we try and take a trip around his birthday in April and mine in July.
After we book a trip we start to plan the culinary side of it right away. This doesn’t always mean fine dining though. One of the things we often do is search sites like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Eat St. Some of the craziest and best food is found off the beaten track or in food trucks. These are the places of innovation right now to me as we are seeing more and more chefs move into this space.
Don’t get me wrong I love fine dining as well, and of course we do a lot of that too but often my most memorable meals are from the dives and food trucks.
The year before in NYC, out of all the places we ate, one of our favorite memories was the famous Biryani House Cart not far from Time Square. We took it back to our room for dinner and it was AMAZING!!
Anyhow, back to Napa….
The pictures bellow are from Napa and San Fran…in no particular order!
We stayed in San Fran eating our way through the city for a few days and then hit the road for Napa Valley. When we booked the trip I knew I wanted to stay in Yountville because I absolutely love this little foodie town (the home town of The French Laundry). Within it’s teeny tiny one street city limits there are so many incredible places to eat such as French Laundry, Ad Hoc, Bistro Jeanty, Bouchon, Lucy, Redd, Bardessono….and the list goes on. Plus of course there are beautiful hotels, clothing shops and Bouchon Bakery. I had a Cobb salad at Pacific Blue Café that might have been the best I’ve ever tasted!
We stayed at The Vintage Inn and it was truly incredible!!
For D’s birthday dinner we went to Bistro Jeanty. Classic French food at it’s best. When we booked it and started to research the restaurant and menu the one thing that came up again and again was the Tomato Soup with Puff Pastry Crust. Not one review or person we talked to said we could leave without trying it. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t overly excited when I placed my order because hey in my mind I thought – how good could tomato soup be.
WELL LET ME TELL YOU MY FRIENDS….THANK GOD I ORDERED IT!!!
This isn’t soup it’s liquid heaven!! Trust me when I say it takes a lot to surprise me and this blew my mind.
Ok…so when you read the instructions and ingredients it may sound a little lengthy and difficult. It really isn’t!! Also, remember that it’s something you’re not eating all the time so ignore the fat content. You gotta live a little. So don’t skimp on the stuff that makes French cooking great…butter, butter and more butter…oh ya and a heavy dose of cream!
When I cater this soup or serve it to guests it’s fun to listen to people as they take their first sip or watch their faces, It really is that good.
I thought this was the perfect thing to serve for brunch with a beautiful tomato Focaccia!
Craving, craving, craving!!
- Soup Ingredients
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 lb yellow onions--sliced
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 T. whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 1/2 lbs. tomatoes--ripe, cored and quarterd
- 1 cup water (no more--use only if tomatoes aren’t ripe)
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 2-4 T. butter
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper (white if you have it)
- 1 lb. puff pastry
- 1 egg beaten with 1 T. of water
- 2 large focaccia
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small wheel brie, chopped
- 2 pints mixed colour grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- basil, chopped
- balsamic glaze
- 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.
- Drizzle olive oil and then evenly sprinkle garlic, brie and tomatoes. Place in the oven at 400 degrees for 5 -7 min, until warm and crispy. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with basil, chives and drizzle balsamic glaze. Serve immediately with warm soup.