Struggling with what to do with the last of your tomato crop from your summer garden?
Homemade tomato soup is a great way to finish off your tomatoes. It can provide you with a healthy meal in the middle of winter or a quick option when you are recovering from those back to school or wintertime colds! When coupled with a grilled cheese sandwich (aka toasted cheese as Jim calls them), your meal can be ready in less than 5 minutes.
The health benefits of homemade tomato soup are plentiful. It contains key ingredients that help to improve your health — vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which are all needed to sustain good health. Tomatoes and tomato soup also contain antioxidants which work to protect cells from free radical damage. By making the soup yourself, you are using fresh ingredients and can cut the salt content significantly than the varieties you find in store-bought soup. Finally, tomatoes have a high vitamin C content which is needed to help absorb iron. These particular vitamins and minerals are important to women with osteoporosis and iron-deficiency anemia.
If you really want to know what goes into the food that you eat. What better way to be sure than to make it yourself!
Homemade Tomato Soup Recipe
6 onions, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
8 quarts fresh tomatoes (or 5-6 quarts of juice)
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon crushed black pepper
1 cup butter
1 cup flour
1/4 cup lemon juice
1. Chop onions and celery.
2. Place in large stockpot with just enough water to keep them from burning.
3. While this simmers, cut tomatoes (remove stems if not using strainer).
4. Add to pot and cook until tender.
5. Place this all through strainer or food mill
6. Reserve 2 cups of juice and chill
7.Add remaining juice back into the pot
8. Add sugar, salt, pepper and lemon juice and heat until warm (not boiling)
9. Cream butter and flour together and mix thoroughly with two cups of COLD juice, until dissolved (or blend together in a blender), to avoid lumps of flour in the juice.
10. Add butter/flour mixture to warmed tomato juice. (Add before it’s hot, to avoid lumps of flour!).
11. Stir well.
12. Heat just until hot. (If it gets to a boil, it can make the flour lumpy).
13. Just prior to boiling, turn off the burner. (It will continue to thicken as it cools.).
This recipe is great fresh or you can freeze some for later – either way – it’s a great way to use up those summer tomatoes.
To serve, mix equal parts tomato concentrate to milk, and add 1/2 t. of baking soda per pint as it cooks (1 t. per quart).
***For an extra creamy soup, Wes, our 15 year old, likes to substitute the milk for half and half.