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Reprising Our Favorite Autumn Stress Reliever

Another Autumn has brought us another bumper crop of vine ripened tomatoes right outside our back door, and plenty of opportunity to reprise last year’s favorite tomato recipe.  We decided to share it again with you on the off chance you might also have some extra fruit.

Preparing and Eating Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup

Creativity and Comfort Relieve Caregiver StressBill and I love to grow tomatoes, but are not much for eating them raw.  This time of year always challenges us to come up with a variety of ideas for using tomatoes in sauces and casseroles.  The other day I tried making homemade cream of tomato soup for the first time, and it was even better comfort food than the Campbell’s we used to love before Bill went gluten free.  The chopping, pureeing, mixing and stirring are grounding activities with a wonderful reward at the end.

This recipe can be made gluten and/or dairy free.

4 or 5 of those big fat vine ripened tomatoes you have sitting on the kitchen windowsill

1 segment of a medium shallot, peeled, diced and sautéed

1 cup chicken broth

Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

1 teaspoon sugar (this is the secret ingredient!)

Combine all these ingredients in a food processor or blender—I like the food processor as there are fewer bubbles in the finished mixture—and puree until smooth.  I had to do this in two batches.  Heat to boiling in your soup pan and simmer for 10 minutes.

Strain the soup into a bowl or another pan to get rid of the seeds and any remaining lumps or bits of tomato peel.  Return to pan and heat.

While the soup is reheating use the sauté pan to make a light roux with a tablespoon of thickener like flour, cornstarch or a gluten free flour and a small dollop of butter or soy margarine.  Whisk a cup or so of room temperature chicken broth into the roux and add to soup, whisking vigorously to avoid lumps.  Or you can leave this part out entirely and still have great soup.

You want the soup to continue cooking for another 10 minutes or so.  At this point I added about a cup and a half of coin sized round pieces cut from the neck of a trombone squash.

1 cup half and half, milk, or soy creamer.

I added this at the end.  It probably doesn’t matter if you are using soy creamer, but cream or milk are a little touchier.

Next time I think I will add some fresh basil to the tomatoes as I puree them.

This recipe made enough for Bill and me to each have a nice comforting bowl.  You can garnish with parmesan or other cheeses, almond slices, sprigs of basil or bacon bits and serve with toast or croutons.  Or just eat the soup without any fuss.

To complete this stress reduction activity, put your feet up and watch the autumn leaves drifting down outside your window.

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