Clear Tomato Soup with Herb Crepes
- 1/2 cup instant-blending flour
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 3 tablespoons clarified butter
- 6 pounds vine-ripened plum tomatoes, quartered
- 7 egg whites, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- Freshly ground white pepper
In a blender, combine the flour, milk, water, egg, egg white, and salt and blend until smooth. Pour into a measuring cup with a lip and stir in the herbs. Cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the clarified butter. Pour about 1/4 cup of the crepe batter into the pan and tilt it in all directions so that it forms a thin coating, then quickly pour out any excess. Cook until the bottom of the crepe is lightly browned, lifting up the edges to check, then flip over and cook for 15 to 20 seconds more. Remove from the pan, add little more butter, and make the next crepe the same way. Continue until you have used all the batter. Pile the crepes up, roll them into a tube, and thinly slice them crosswise into a julienne. Set aside until ready to serve.
In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, puree the tomatoes for 3 to 4 minutes, pulsing on and off and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary untilt he puree is very smooth and watery. Pour the puree into a large saucepan, add the egg whites and the salt and whisk together. Slowly bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly so that the liquid doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. When the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to very low, so that it just barely simmers, and allow to cook completely undisturbed for 5 minutes.
Line a sieve with a double-thickness of slightly dampened cheesecloth. Without disturbing the crust of egg white which has formed, slowly pour the soup through the sieve into a clean pan (all the skin and impurities will be left behind, with the egg whites, in the sieve). Drain in the sieve for 15 minutes, then gently reheat just before serving.
Add pepper to taste and serve in warmed bowls, each one garnished with a little jumbe of the slivered herb crepes.
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