Thursday, 7 March 2013

Cream of Tomato Soup
I have fond memories of making PB & J sandwiches and hot creamy Tomato Soup when I was a child when I went home for lunch.
Since my mom was a working mom, I had to make my own lunches when I walked home for lunch with my girlfriends.  When I think back, I lived about 20min walking distance from my school and I used to trek home and back just for lunch! Unheard of today and certainly not at the age of 10!
Campbell's soup and a sandwich were the fastest and easiest meals to make and off I went back to school warm, with a full tummy and just in time for the bell!
When I started having an interest in cooking, from an early age, this was one of the dishes I taught myself how to make after having mastered how to make a white sauce and roux. Known today as a bechamel.
It tastes so close to the canned version that when I serve this to guests they actually think I am serving them canned soup!
How about that for acclaim... 
2 tbsp EVOO
1 1/2 tbsp flour
3 cups milk or non dairy unsweetened beverage (soy, almond)
5 cups tomato juice or vegetable juice (which is tangier)
1 small onion, peeled chopped
salt & pepper to taste
In a large preheated pot add oil, onions and a sprinkling of salt and cook on medium heat to soften the onions for 3minutes.  Add the flour and stir into the mixture.  It will clump and look messy, continue to stir "cooking" the flour mixture for 1 minute or so. This is called a roux.
Slowly add the milk, stirring continuously to incorporate into the flour mixture.  It will begin to thicken immediately.  Stir vigorously so mixture doesn't get lumps.  *If it creates lumps don't worry about it as you can puree it in a blender later*
Season mildly with salt & pepper and continue cooking the white sauce for 4-5min.
Add the tomato juice, stir to combine and continue cooking for 30min until the tomato colour deepens.  Skim off any foam that forms on top while cooking.
Puree in a blender if you would like a creamier texture.
Otherwise I like a bit of contrast of texture with the pieces of onion.
Serves 6-8 people
Enjoy with love!

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