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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thursday Recipe - Cream of Tomato Soup, aka Eyeball Soup

Who doesn't want soup when it's about ten degrees below "It's dang COLD out there!"?

This recipe is my take on a classic soup I learned to make in Jr. High Cooking class. A little tweak here or there, and you could come up with your own signature version.

Why eyeball soup? If you use frozen pearl onions for the chopped onion, they look like eyeballs. It's a Halloween tradition, although I need to figure out how to make it with a milk substitute. I think coconut milk might work, but I haven't tried it yet.

I like the soup better the next day. The flavor mellows after refrigeration. Make it a day or two ahead, then pour it into a crockpot and let it slowly warm up the next day. Plan on about 2 hours on low. Serve this one with croutons, toast, grilled cheese, whatever your favorite side is. I like the soup in a mug just to sip. Creamy and delicious.

Classic Cream of Tomato Soup

1 48 oz can vegetable cocktail juice (tastes better than straight tomato, but you choose)
1/2 c. finely minced onion
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. flour
4 c. milk

Pour vegetable juice in a large pot, I use a 4-qt saucepan. Add onions and pepper. Let simmer over medium heat. Don't boil, just get it nice and hot.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a 2-qt saucepan. When its completely melted, stir in flour. Whisk until smooth. Cook 1 minute until bubbly. Stir in milk a little at a time, whisking smooth between additions. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil and stir 1 minute.

Make sure the vegetable juice mixture is just barely below boiling. Stir in milk mixture. Whisk until smooth. Reduce heat to low, cook for 1 minute. Taste, add salt if needed. Serve immediately or chill, reheat, and serve another day.

Stir in whichever of the following sounds good to you. I prefer mine straight.

1/2 t. garlic powder or 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced and added with the onion
dash of cayenne pepper powder, if you like it hot
1 t. dried parsley or 1 T. fresh parsley, chopped, sprinkle on top of each serving
1 T. fresh chives, chopped, sprinkle over the top of each serving
Sour cream, use as a garnish

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