Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Camp -- Cream of Tomato Soup

With temperatures hovering in the low to mid-80s this week, soup is an attractive alternative to a large lunch.

I decided to make split pea soup at the last minute yesterday. The Safeway checker remarked at my eight pounds of spit peas, "That'll make a large pot of soup!"

"It's too hot for soup," she added.

It may be warm to those who live along the coast, but campers at Northern California FC Camp have been enjoying the moderate weather. Many of our campers come from the Central Valley where 80 degrees is a pleasant day.


This recipe will serve 40 (6-ounce) or 30 (8-ounce) servings. You can use make cream of tomato from any tomato sauce recipe or from a canned tomato sauce. Simply combine one-part tomato sauce, one-part broth (chicken or vegetable) and one-part cream sauce. Heat through and adjust seasoning to enhance its flavor.

We find that 20 to 35 percent of the campers will take a hot soup on most days.

4 ounces salt pork or bacon
8 ounces diced onions
8 ounces diced carrots
4 quarts tomatoes, fresh or canned, coarsely chopped
2 quarts tomato puree
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme
Granulated sugar
1 gallon cream sauce, hot
Salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste

Render the salt port or bacon in a heavy sauce pot, but don't brown. Add the onions and carrots and sauteed until slightly softened, but don't brown. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the tomato puree, garlic and herbs.

Add up to a quart of chicken stock if needed to thin if needed. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, until reduced to the desired consistence.

Strain the sauce through china cap. Press down on the solids with a spoon or ladle to extract all the juices and some of the pulp. Add a little sugar if necessary to temper the acidity of the tomatoes.

Stir in the hot cream sauce. If the soup is too thick, thin out with a little chicken broth. Season with salt and ground white pepper to taste.

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