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Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup

From Suncoast Co-op

<p>When tomatoes are in season, this makes a great lunch soup with your favorite sandwich.</p>
Source: Louise Astbury - from the St. Francis by the Sea cookbook - Blue Hill Maine (Entered by Rick B)
Serves: Approximately 4 servings

3 Medium Very ripe tomatoes
1 small Onion
1/2 cup Celery - finely chopped
1 small Bay leaf
3 tbl Butter
3 tbl Flour
1 tsp Salt
3 cups Milk
Pinch Sugar (optional)

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Peel (optional) and chop tomatoes, see the note below about peeling and deseeding. In a medium saucepan combine the chopped tomatoes, onion,celery,sugar(optional)and bay leaf.
  2. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes.
  3. In a large saucepan melt the butter and stir in the flour and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the milk (half and half makes it richer)and cook stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and bubbles. Takes about 2 minutes or so. Keep this mixture warm.
  4. Puree the tomato mixture, especially if you didn't peel the tomatoes and like a smooth soup. Add the tomato mixture to the flour mixture being careful not to bring to a boil.
  5. Note: Peeling tomatoes can be easier if you drop into boiling water for just a min. Remove into an ice bath for just a second to cool slightly and the skin should be easier to remove. If you prefer you can also deseed the tomatoes and use just the meaty portion.