Recipe by HeatherFeather
Adapted from a recipe found in the Penzey's spice catalog. The size of the tomatoes should be about the size of a medium apple. If using very small tomatoes, such as plum tomatoes, you will need to double the amount of tomatoes. It might also be a good idea to have some extra tomato juice or vegetable broth on hand just in case your tomatoes do not produce enough liquid to make the full 8 cups needed.
- 13 small tomatoes, chopped
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups whole milk (or half and half or evaporated whole milk)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- crushed seasoned croutons, to garnish (optional)
Directions See How It's Made
- Cook tomatoes and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until soft and the skins start to fall off, approximately 10 minutes.
- Add baking soda (it will get foamy) and cook another minute or two.
- Strain the tomatoes through a sieve set over a large bowl; discard the seeds& skins but reserve the juices.
- You should have 8 cups juice, approximately- set aside. (If you do not have enough juice, add canned tomato juice or vegetable broth to your juices to make up the difference, adjusting the salt later to account for these additions.).
- Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large stock pot, then add onions and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add flour, stirring, then add all spices except for the basil, stirring until well blended.
- Cook the flour mixture for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly- don't let it burn.
- Slowly add the milk, whisking to mix with flour mixture until smooth.
- Continue cooking until it starts to thicken.
- Add 1 cup of the milk mixture to the tomato juices to temper them, stirring well.
- Pour the tomato mixture into the stock pot and stir to mix.
- Continue heating until warmed through, but do not let boil.
- Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.
- Add basil and serve with a sprinkling of crushed croutons on top if desired.