Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Time for soup!

The leaves are putting on new colors, the crops are drying down ready for harvest, it must be Fall! And that means "soup time".  Many of you have already put up your jars and freezer bags full of tomato based products, but in case you have a few left, you need to make a pot of homemade tomato soup.  If you loved Campbell's tomato soup as a kid or maybe you still do, once you have a bowl of homemade tomato soup you can't go back - (sorry Campbell's, I still love your cream of.....whatever soups).

This recipe is not mine by design, but taken from the recipe book my mother gave to me as a bridal shower gift a mere 32 years ago.

If you have the book, turn to page 110 and 111.  For those of who you don't, let me be your guide through the process.  The recipe is super easy, just be patient when stirring!

 In a saucepan, combine 4 cups of tomatoes, onion, bay leaf, sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper.

Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes.  (It is not necessary to peel the tomatoes, since the skins will be removed as the mixture is sieved)  TIP: Blending the tomato mixture instead of sieving it is an alternate method for making the tomato puree.  However, more seeds will be left in the tomato mixture with blending than with sieving.  For a smoother soup from the blender or food processor, be sure to peel the tomatoes before cooking them.

Place a sieve over a bowl.  Add the tomato mixture to the sieve; press the tomato mixture through with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to strain the juice, as shown.  Discard the pulpy mass left in the sieve.  (or you can process the mixture in a blender or food processor, just be sure to take the skins off the tomatoes before cooking).  Set aside the hot strained mixture (you should have about 2 cups).

In the same saucepan you used for cooking the tomatoes, melt the butter over low heat.  Blend in the flour and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Stir with a wooden soup till no lumps remain.  This is the first step in making a white sauce, which is the base for this soup.

With the saucepan over low heat, add the milk all at once.  Stir constantly to distribute the butter-flour mixture throughout the total amount of cool milk.  This is easier than blending it with a small amount of milk at a time.  The butter-flour mixture and the milk must be well blended to prevent lumps from forming.

Cook over medium  heat, stirring constantly in a figure-8 motion so that the sauce is heated evenly throughout.  Vigorous beating or stirring will break down the particles in the flour, making the sauce slick rather then smooth and velvety.  Use a wooden spoon for more comfortable stirring (and patience!) Continue cooking till the mixture thickens and bubbles across its entire surface.  This thickening results when heat expands the starch particles in the flour.  Cook 2 minutes longer to ensure that the flour is fully cooked and will not taste starchy.

Slowly add the hot tomato mixture to the white sauce, stirring to blend.  Heat through.  Do not heat mixture too long or allow to boil.  The acidity of the tomatoes can cause the milk to curdle when overcooked.  Serve immediately. (Notice that there are chunks of tomatoes in the pot - my hubby likes it that way, so I add a cup or two of diced/chopped tomatoes after adding the tomato mixture.  You can use ripe tomatoes or a can of diced tomatoes - both work great!)

Oh for Yummy!

Cream of Tomato Soup (with tomato chunks,  my addition to the original recipe)
Click here for a printable version

4 cups of chopped ripe tomatoes
  (if you would like to have some tomato chunks in your soup, add 1-2 more cups of chopped tomatoes to     the soup after you add the hot tomato mixture before serving or you can add a can of diced tomatoes if you   don't have enough tomatoes)
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1 small bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups milk

In saucepan combine the tomatoes, onion, bay leaf, sugar, the 1 tsp. salt and the pepper.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes.  Sieve the tomato mixture to make about 2 cups; set aside.  In the same saucepan melt the butter; stir in the flour and the 1/2 tsp salt.  Add milk all at once.  Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly.  Cook 2 minutes more.  Slowly add hot tomato mixture, stirring to blend.  Add diced/chopped tomatoes if you would like chunks of tomato in your soup instead of just being creamy. Heat up gently, not to overcook and serve immediately.  If desired, garnish soup with seasoned croutons, crumbled crisp-cooked bacon, sour cream, etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment