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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Creamy Homemade Tomato Soup


I don't like tomato soup.  I seldom eat it, even when we have grilled cheese sandwiches.  Don likes the stuff so I dutifully have opened cans of tomato soup over the course of our 35 years of marriage but have not eaten much of it myself.  When I did eat the canned soup I always poured milk in mine as I think it makes it more palatable.  

Now, I must take back most of the last paragraph.  I do like tomato soup.  I still don't like canned tomato soup but I can almost say I "love" Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup."  And Don likes (loves) it as much or more than I do.  I don't think we'll be buying much of the canned stuff anymore as this homemade soup is soooooooooooo good.  I never thought tomato soup could taste so delicious but this one definitely gets an A+ from me.  I made it at Thanksgiving when the kids and grandkids were here and everyone enjoyed it, so I guess the old saying of "the proof of the pudding is in the eating" holds true for soup as well. 

This is a new addition to my "box" of recipes.  I stumbled across the recipe while surfing around food blogs last fall.  Of course I've put my own spin on the recipe to make it mine.  It takes a little time to make because it has to simmer for a while, but it's not hard and you may have some of the ingredients in the cupboard already.  One ingredient I seldom used was Thyme, but after making this soup I went right out and bought a new fresh can of it because I knew I would use it often.  Crushed tomatoes are more of a puree but not a paste.  You'll find crushed tomatoes in the grocery store along side the stewed, whole and diced tomatoes. 

Creamy Homemade Tomato Soup

Put the following in a large saucepan set over medium heat:

1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions (about 2 small to medium onions)

Heat over medium heat, and sauté the onions until softened and golden, about 10 minutes.  Make sure onions are as soft as you want them as they won’t get much softer once the tomatoes are added.

Add the following:

1- 796 ml (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon basil
¼ teaspoon thyme
⅛ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine:

4 tablespoons flour
4 cups "chicken" broth or water  (I use 2 veggie "chicken" bouillon cubes to make the 4 cups of broth.)

Whisk or blend until smooth. Add this mixture to the soup, stirring constantly. Cover and simmer slowly for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the following:

¼ teaspoon baking soda

The baking soda will make the soup foam.  Stir to keep the foam from going over the pot. This will neutralize some of the acid.  You won’t need much.  Don’t use any more than the ¼ teaspoon.

Then stir in:

1 to 3 tablespoons sugar, to taste; optional
1 (one) 12-ounce can evaporated milk
½ teaspoon salt or to taste

Heat, continuing to stir, until the soup comes to a bare simmer.  Do not boil as the milk will curdle.

Serve hot with grilled cheese sandwiches or crackers.


Makes about 6 servings.

Adapted from:  
King Arthur Flour Blog




Sauté onions in oil and butter until they are soft and just starting to turn a golden yellow.  


To the onions add the crushed tomatoes, thyme, basil, black pepper and tomato paste.

Simmer and occasionally stir this mixture for 10 minutes


Mix the flour and water or broth together until there are no lumps.
I usually rinse out the tomato can with some of the water.


Stir the flour/water mixture into the soup pot, stirring constantly until well blended.  This helps to thicken the finished soup. (Use 2 tablespoons cornstarch for a gluten-free soup.)  Simmer an additional 25 minutes.


The baking soda is necessary to neutralize the highly acidic tomato.  Use only ¼ teaspoon of soda because any more may leave a soapy taste to the soup.  See how just this little amount makes the soup foam up.  Keep stirring.

I find 2 tablespoons of sugar to be the right amount of sweetener for this soup. It just brightens up the tomato flavour.  Any more makes the soup too sweet for my taste.   I find I don't need to add the extra salt as it's just right for me.


If you wish you can leave the soup simmering until ready to serve.  Then add the evaporated milk.  Don't boil the milky soup because the soup will curdle.  To make this vegan, substitute a non-dairy milk. 


 
Here's the soup, ready to serve. Some people may want to blend everything smooth but I like a little texture in the soup.

As a side note, I served the soup with fries made in my Acti-Fryer.  Just one tablespoon of oil.  Well worth the investment, in my opinion. 

Homemade tomato soup--thick and velvety smooth speckled with little pieces of sweet, soft, onion.

The completed dinner:  Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup, homemade fries and grilled cheese sandwiches made with homemade bread. Spread the bread with garlic butter for a special sandwich.  
Oh, my.... what a meal!



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