Fresh garden tomatoes make for a great soup

When fall moves in and plump, red tomatoes are in abundance, I think of making homemade cream of tomato soup.

It’s become a tradition and there’s just something about the homemade flavour that makes it worth the effort.

You’ll agree when you try this recipe. It is simple and delicious, letting the country flavour of fresh tomatoes shine through. The onion mellows out the sharpness of the tomato.

You can use canned tomatoes if you wish, too, and they’ll already have their skins removed, but removing the skin is quick and simple. Here’s the method:

You’ll need a big, slotted spoon, two big pots and a big measuring cup for this. One pot is for boiling water and the other for cold. Have them close together for ease of movement.

You’ll be placing the tomatoes, one or two at a time, in the hot water with the slotted spoon for two minutes, then scooping them out and placing them in the cold water for half a minute or so. Put ice cubes in the cold pot if the water isn’t really cold. It’s the sudden dunk into the hot water and then the cold that loosens the skins, so don’t put them in the hot until after the water is boiling.

When they’ve cooled enough to handle in the cold water, take them out, pinch the skin and gently pull it off. If they don’t skin easily, you haven’t left them in the hot water long enough, so do it again.

This is where I use the point of a paring knife to cut out the blossom end so they’re not floating around in the finished soup.

Then, cut them in pieces and let them fall into the measuring cup. They’ll be slippery and mushy without their skins so keep your hands over the measuring cup to catch any juice. You can mash them later in the cooking pot if you wish.

Use this same method for skinning peaches.

  • 2 c chopped tomato
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 slice onion, chopped fine, or 1/4 tsp onion salt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour

Cook all of the above on medium heat until the onion is soft, about 15 minutes.

This is where you can press the mixture through a sieve with the back of a large spoon if you wish. This will take the seeds out and any big pieces of tomato, but I skip this step.

Now put 1/4 cup of this mixture in a cup or small bowl. Add 2 tbsp butter.

Mix into the hot tomato mixture until the butter melts. Then add and stir in 2 tbsp flour.

Add this mixture to the pot of tomato mixture and stir well. Simmer slowly for five minutes.

Now slowly stir in two cups of cold, fresh milk and heat through.

Be careful about heating it at this point.

Now that you’ve added the milk, don’t let it boil or the milk will curdle. It’s the acid in the tomato that causes that to happen.

Just heat and stir until you see steam rising and you’ll know it’s ready to serve.

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