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       Volume I - May 28, 2010

Food Fun
Yummy Cream of Tomato Soup

by Jeanne Wolfley

Do you remember an article Patty did a while back about inserting some vegetarian meals into the weekly menu as a way to trim the grocery budget (and improve health in the process)?

I loved that article, and what was such a cool coincidence, my daughter-in-law had just given me a really neat cookbook, The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest, by Mollie Katzen (who also authored the Moosewood Cookbook, and Still Life with Menu). So between my Cook’n CD, “Vegetarian Cooking”, and this new book, I was all set to give Patty’s suggestion a try.

Wanting to spend less on groceries wasn’t my only motivator to delving seriously into this vegetarian idea, though. I also want to have some great plans on hand for when the garden starts producing.

Well was I jazzed upon finding “Variations on Cream of Tomato” in the Broccoli Forest book! Author, Mollie, says to use fresh tomatoes, we should cut up 2 lbs, cook over medium heat with no added liquid for 10 minutes. Then we should puree them in a blender or food processor, saving and using all their liquid. I think you’ll like these recipes. Take a look:

Cream of Tomato Soup
Variation 1

1 tbsp butter or olive oil
1 ½ C chopped onion
2 bay leaves
½ tsp sea or Celtic salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp celery seed
½ tsp allspice or cloves
2 Tbsp whole wheat (or other whole grain flour)
2 lbs fresh tomatoes, pureed
1 C milk

Optional: small cubes of Swiss cheese for topping
Melt butter or heat oil in soup pot or Dutch oven. Add onion, by leaves, and other seasonings, and sauté over medium heat until the onion is soft (10 min. or so). Sprinkle in flour, whisking constantly. Continue stirring/whisking and cooking for about 5 minutes more. Stir in tomatoes. Cook over medium heat for about 15 min., stirring frequently from the bottom. Turn the heat down to simmer, and slowly drizzle in milk. Fish out the bay leaves and serve immediately. Garnish with cheese cubes, if desired.

  Download this recipe.

Cream of Tomato Soup
Variation 2

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ cup chopped onion
2 lg garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
½ tsp sea or celtic salt
½ tsp crumbled rosemary
1 tsp dried basil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 lbs fresh tomatoes, pureed
3 Tbsp cooking sherry
4 oz cream cheese
Minced fresh parsley

Heat oil in soup pot or Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, salt, herbs, and black pepper, and cook over medium heat until the onion is soft (10 min.). Add tomatoes and sherry. Cover and simmer about 15 min. Remove the bay leaves. Cut the cream cheese into the hot soup. Continue cooking, and stir until smooth. Serve hot, topped with freshly minced parsley.

  Download this recipe.

Cream of Tomato Soup
Variation 3

1 ½ C chopped onion
1 large potato, unpeeled and thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, minced
2 C water
2 lbs fresh tomatoes, pureed
2 lg garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tsp sea or Celtic salt
1 tsp dried dill
2 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried thyme
1 C milk

Strips of fresh basil for garnish, if available
Place onion, potato, celery, and water in soup pot or Dutch oven. Bring to boil, cover, simmer until potato is soft (15 min.). Set aside to cool until it is no longer too hot to puree.
Puree in several batches with the tomatoes (in blender or food processor). Return to the pot, and heat just to the boiling point. Lower heat; add garlic and seasonings. Simmer for about 10 min. Stir in optional milk just before serving. Garnish with strips of fresh basil, if available.

  Download this recipe.

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