Yesterday on the Savory Tomato Tart post my friend Phyllis asked if I had a recipe for cream of tomato soup. Why yes I do. First, though, I want to take a quick trip down memory lane. Phyllis and I met in high school. We also went to church together. I did a little scouting in my photo albums to find Phyllis circa 1977. She’s rocking the blue drape for her senior picture.
I went back even further to 1976 to find a few church camp photos. Here she is sitting with my first boyfriend Alec. He and I were eighth grade sweethearts.
Next we see Phyllis with our friend Jeff. She’s getting a little camp love. Laura, who is walking past, is just not having it!
Finally, I decide to get in on the action but don’t have as much luck as Phyllis. I’m basically being manhandled by an unknown teen who I don’t have the slightest idea who he is now. Can anyone help with the ID? Seems like his name is Andy???? I’m sporting my favorite puka bead necklace.
I’m just like David Cassidy and his puka beads. I guess we were kindred spirits.
Phyllis and I had SO MUCH FUN at school and church hanging out. If I looked a little longer today I probably could have dug up some of the notes she and I passed in Spanish. I don’t throw much away.
So let me get back back to the recipe because I could reminisce for a long time and then you would never get to eat soup. I encourage you to adjust this recipe as needed to make it your own to reflect your personal taste. You can’t really go wrong.
Velvet Tomato Soup
2 pounds fresh tomatoes ( which makes 2 cups cooked tomatoes)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion (I used Vidalia)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
3 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup half and half (add more for a thinner soup)
1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon white sugar (more or less to taste)
Cut tomatoes into chunks and place in a large pot. Cook over low heat until the skins are soft and falling off, about 20 minutes. Strain the tomatoes discarding the seeds and skin. Place the cooked tomato back into the stock pot and add the onion, garlic, celery, cloves,and bay leaf. Simmer 10-15 more minutes or until onions and celery are softened. Remove the cloves and bay leaf and blend the tomato mixture in a blender. Place the tomato mixture back in the stock pot over low heat. In a small pan melt the butter over medium heat; add the flour to make a roux. Take about 1/2 cup of the tomato mixture and add it to the roux. Return the mixture back to the stock pot. Add the half and half, salt and sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes to heat the half and half. Makes about 3 cups of soup.
Here are the steps. I used two types of tomatoes – Roma and a Big Boy variety.
Cut the tomatoes and place in a large stock pot. I cored the bigger one but I left the cores in the smaller ones.
Simmer until soft and the skins are slipping off.
Now for the next step, I actually have a tomato press. I know, I know. A hand-cranked tomato press is not a common kitchen gadget but Davis and Olivia got it for me from the Williams Sonoma outlet a while back. They actually are still selling them at Williams Sonoma but not at the discounted price at the outlet.The skins and seeds come out the front and the juice and pulp comes out the side. I usually run the skins and seeds through three times to get as much juice out as possible. You can strain the tomatoes with a mesh strainer or a food mill.
Next, cook the tomatoes with the onions, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and cloves.
When the vegetables are tender, pour the soon-to-be soup into a blender and blend till smooth.
In another pan, melt the butter and add the flour. Add some of the tomato soup to the roux and then put it all back in the stock pot. Add the half and half, salt, and sugar. Heat through and enjoy. Don’t forget your grilled cheese sandwiches. Is it possible to eat tomato soup without them? Nope.
Any other recipe requests? I enjoyed my trip down memory lane and I enjoyed making this soup today. Thanks, Phyllis!