Sunday, February 26, 2012

Soup and Sandwich

This course was the "lunch" course of the Day in Dinner party. It was the soup course, but like everything at the party, it was to have a slight twist. The soup was a simple tomato/roasted red pepper soup. The twist was the sandwich. With the soup you don't have to be precise about the size of the vegetables - it is going to be blended and strained so it is completely smooth.
Ingredients  - Soup
2 red bell peppers, left whole
2T vegetable oil
2 oz butter
1 large onion (I used yellow) minced
1 shallot minced
3 cloves garlic smashed
3T all purpose flour
1 large and 1 small can of whole tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
3 sprigs of thyme
salt/pepper to taste
A few drops of extra virgin olive oil for serving
Sea salt crystals
Method - Soup
Heat the oven to 450F and roast the peppers until the skin is well charred (about 45 minutes). Meanwhile heat the oil/butter gently until hot but not brown. Add the onion, shallot, garlic and sweat gently. Do not allow any color to form.
Place the tomatoes into the blender and pulse quickly to break up the larger pieces. It is better to this than to but crushed or sauce tomatoes. This way they are less metallic tasting. Also if you are lucky enough to have some home canned tomatoes (as we were), they will almost always be whole.
Once the onion, shallot and garlic have softened, add the flour to the pot and stir to coat, and make a light roux. Add the tomatoes, stock, thyme to the pot. Stir to incorporate. Peel and roughly chop the roasted peppers (having removed the seeds), add the peppers to the pot.
Bring up to a simmer - gently to avoid sticking. Simmer for about 35 - 40 minutes stirring occasionally.
Puree the soup in the blender in several batches. Do this while it is hot - make sure you place a kitchen towel over the blender while doing this. You do not want hot tomato soup flying around the kitchen!
Strain the soup using a fine strainer and discard anything that remains in the strainer.
Chill overnight to allow the flavors to develop. Reheat when ready.
Ingredients - Sandwiches
16 oz Parmesan cheese - grated finely. Use the highest quality you can
6 oz fresh goat cheese
A good handful of fresh basil leaves
2T milk (may not be needed if the goats cheese is soft and creamy)
1t sherry vinegar
1t extra virgin olive oil
Method - Sandwiches
Make Parmesan tuiles by spreading the Parmesan cheese on a baking sheet
and baking in a 475 degree oven until it is melted and bubbling. (3-4 minutes). Allow to cool a bit. While still flexible (they do become crunchy eventually), cut them out into the shapes you want. I used a 1" ring cutter. One guest remarked that they looked like Communion Wafers.
When ready to make the sandwiches, form the filling pr processing the cheese, basil, milk (if needed), vinegar, oil until a smooth green paste is formed. There is no need for salt because the tuiles have enough salt for the whole sandwich. To make the sandwiches spread a little filling on one tuile and top with another.
Serve alongside the soup.

No comments: