Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Can the Can: Tomato Soup From Scratch

This soup did not come out of a can with a red and white label on it.  This soup was made from scratch, in my kitchen.  It looks like the soup that comes from a red and white can.  It does not, however, cost quite as much as the soup that comes from a red and white can, and it tastes better than the soup that comes from a can.

If you've ever made a white sauce from scratch--you know: melt butter, stir in flour, salt, pepper, broth and/or milk. . . you can make tomato soup from scratch with no problem.  If you've never made white sauce before, your soup might turn out a little lumpy the first time or two, but stick with it and I guarantee you'll get the hang of it.

You can either use tomato juice purchased from the store or from tomatoes that you grew yourself and cooked down into juice (we just made 3 gallons of tomato juice this past weekend!)

To give credit where credit is due, the recipe comes from The Best of Amish Cooking by Phyllis Pellman Good, which is one of my go-to cookbooks for from scratch recipes.

Tomato Soup
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp minced onions
3 Tbsp flour
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper
1 quart tomato juice
2 cups milk

It all begins by melting some butter over medium-low heat in a sauce pan.  Then you add some minced onions (aka onions chopped as small as you can manage), stir in some flour, salt and pepper, then slowly stir in half your tomato juice.  Keep stirring so that everything stays smooth and you don't develop lumps from that flour.  Meanwhile warm up the milk in a separate pan just until scalding--don't boil the milk!  Once the milk is scalded, stir in the rest of the tomato juice to the mixture in your first sauce pan, then stir in the warm milk. Continue heating the soup until it comes not quite to a boil, then serve!

We like ours best with grilled cheese sandwiches on the side.  However, big crusty toasted slices of that spent grain bread I made went well with the soup too.

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