Pastry-Crowned Tomato Soup Recipe

Wow your guests with a piping hot bowl of tomato soup covered with a golden puffed pastry shell. This dish is sure to be the showstopper on your holiday table.

from The Ultimate Christmas Book

You Will Need
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 medium onions, chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
3 cups (27 fl oz./800 ml) drained canned tomatoes
2 tbsp. tomato paste (purée)
2 cups (17 fl oz./500 ml) vegetable stock
2/3 cup (5 fl oz./250 ml) heavy (double) cream
1 package (17.3 oz./490 g) chilled

Pastry-Crowned Tomato Soup RecipePhoto copyright © The Ultimate Christmas Book, 2006
What to Do
1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and cook the onions and celery over a low heat until the onions are soft; add the tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover, add the stock, bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Transfer the mixture to the food processor and purée. Stir in the cream and season to taste. Refrigerate until the pastry top is ready.

3. Divide the soup between six deep, ovenproof soup bowls. Leave a 1 in. (2.5 cm) gap at the top of each bowl.

4. Roll the pastry to 1/8-in. (3-mm) thickness and cut out six circles about 1 in. (2.5 cm) larger than the top of the bowls. Place a circle of pastry over each bowl, sealing the pastry to the outside of the bowl. Chill for at least half an hour. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/Gas Mark 4).

5. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and place the soup bowls in the lower third of the oven and bake for 15–20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.