cream of tomato soup

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The husband calls me a baking snob. Granted, I know not everyone has the patience for baking that I do, but I don't think I'm a snob.

I think it's because I have a few non-negotiables when it comes to baking and cooking.

- If the recipe involves cake mix, I ain't going near it. I loathe cake mix, with a passion. I know some people like it, they like the simplicity of it, but I'm sorry, everyone should know how to make a cake.

- Don't even get me started with the "skinny" cake recipes. Cake mix + diet pop is not baking.

- I will never use margarine as a butter substitute. Same goes with apple sauce.

- Artificial vanilla is not the same as vanilla extract.

- Always make a recipe once, exactly as written. Subsequent times, it's okay to make changes.

- Cool whip is not real food. Neither is Splenda.

Sure, maybe it sounds unreasonable to some, but to me, these "rules" are what I believe in.

I like whole foods. Like this soup. Who doesn't love cream of tomato soup on a cold day ? I always used the canned stuff, but when I came across this recipe. I needed to make it.

It doesn't use any crazy ingredients, I think the hardest part was blending the soup. Creamy, warm, perfectly spiced with basil, the perfect accompaniment with a grilled cheese.

Cream of tomato soup
[ from the kitchn ]

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
pinch of ground cloves
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
One 15 oz can diced tomatoes in puree
pinch of baking soda
2 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
1 cup milk, or up to 1/2 cup more as needed
tomato paste, if needed

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery, cook for a few minutes, until veggies are soft. Add the dried basil and cloves, cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes, then add the flour. Stir the flour well, cooking for another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, baking soda, and stock.

Bring mixture to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove soup from heat and puree using a stick blender, or in batches in a traditional blender. Once pureed to your liking, return to the heat and stir in the milk. Add more milk if the soup seems too thick, and add tomato paste if it needs more tomato flavour.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.