Loretta’s Creamy Tomato Soup
|Prep time||20 minutes|
|Cook time||30 minutes|
|Total time||50 minutes|
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons white flour
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- dash cayenne pepper
- 2 cups milk
- 1/ 2 cup light cream
- 2 cans diced tomatoes (28 ounce size)
- 2 or 3 teaspoons white sugar (or to taste)
- 2 or 3 dried bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons Picking Spice (*to make a pickling spice ball)
- 1 sheet Cheese cloth
I learned how to make this unusual yet hearty tomato soup when I was teenager staying at my dear friend Norah’s house in Torrance Ontario. It was her mom Loretta’s own personal recipe and I had never tasted anything like it. It is still one of my favourite hearty winter soups to whip up.
|Add butter to medium sized sauce pan and melt on medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened which should take about 5 minutes.|
|Add salt, pepper and cayene. Once onions are softened add flour and mix well to create a paste. Pour in milk and cream mixture and mix well with a whisk. Allow mixture to thicken on medium heat and continue to stir with whisk. Add tomatoes and sugar and stir to blend.|
|The next step is to puree the soup mixture. I use the hand held blender directly in the pot or you can also transfer to a regular blender. Blend until smooth with some small chunks of tomato. You want it to be a smooth consistency but not gloppy. |
Add Bay leaves and pickling spice ball. Allow soup to simmer covered and on low heat for about an hour to allow the spices to blend into the soup.
|Preparing the Pickling Spice Seasoning Ball|
|The idea of the pickling spice ball is to just extract the seasoning, but not have the actual spices added to the soup. |
To prepare the cheese cloth mixture, roll out a sheet of standard cooking cheesecloth to about a foot in length. Cut and fold in half. Pour the pickling spice into the middle of the cheese cloth and draw up sides of the cheese cloth to meet in the middle making a ball at the bottom and be sure the folds are overlapping so no pickling spice can get out.
Fasten tightly at the top of the ball with a rubber band. Drop the cheese cloth and spice mixture into soup and allow to be thoroughly immersed.
|When you are ready to serve remove pickling ball and bay leaves and serve. |
*can also make a spicy version of the soup by adding ¼ teaspoon of chili flakes directly into soup when you add pickling spice ball.