A great way to use up fresh tomatoes, this Cream of Tomato Soup is creamy and has a delicious, mild tomato flavor. Don’t skip the homemade croutons – they taste like buttered toast in your soup!
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 7 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1 small onion (studded with 8-10 whole cloves)
- 2 small bay leaves
- fresh nutmeg
- 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes (peeled and seeded (can substitute canned))
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- White Sauce
- salt and pepper
- fresh basil
- 2 slices bread
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Make the white sauce: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Melt the butter in a large ovenproof saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk. Add the onion and the bay leaves. Frequently stir the mixture until it is slightly thickened, 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to the oven. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until the sauce has completely thickened.
- Remove the bay leaves and the onion, and add a dash of fresh nutmeg.
- Make the soup: In a soup pot, combine the tomatoes, celery, onion and sugar. Simmer together, covered, for about 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Return the tomato mixture back to the pot.
- Add the white sauce to the tomato mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat for a few minutes, until completely heated through.
- Make the croutons: Cut the bread into squares. In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the olive oil. Add the bread cubes and stir to coat. Saute the bread cubes until they are toasted on all sides.
- Top each serving of soup with some of the croutons and a bit of fresh basil.
slightly adapted from The Joy of Cooking