Cream of Tomato Soup
2 ounces butter
1 med. onion, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 qt. peeled, seed, chopped plum tomatoes
1 tsp each dried oregano & sage
Salt & freshly ground pepper
3 Tb. flour
24 fl. oz. chicken stock
1 Tb. granulated sugar
16 fl. oz. half-and-half
Croûtons & chopped parsley, to garnish
In large stainless-steel or enamelled saucepan, heat butter; add onion, celery, and garlic, and sauté over moderate heat 3 minutes, stirring.
Add tomatoes, herbs, salt & pepper to taste, and Tabasco & Worcestershire to taste; increase heat slightly, stir, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle the flour on top, stir, and continue cooking 10 minutes longer, stirring from time to time.
Add the stock & sugar, stir well, remove pan from the heat and let cool slightly. Transfer the soup, in portions, to a blender, reduce to a smooth purée, taste for seasoning, and return to the saucepan.
Gradually add the slightly warmed half-and-half, stirring; return to low heat and cook about 8 minutes, stirring constantly and never allowing the soup to boil.
Serve the soup garnished with croûtons & chopped parsley.