Sunday, August 4, 2013

Tomato Soup (Gluten Free)

Tomato Soup from South Carolina is a nod to the realities, viz., as they say in the UK, that the all shellfish dinner party is not what dietitians might call a balanced meal. Also, hell, it's the middle of summer and tomatoes are ripe. So go for it.
However, I would not unreservedly recommend this soup. It's bland as beige cardboard. I salted and peppered the bejesus out of it and finally doctored it with cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce in order to make it taste like anything. Maybe it was the tomatoes. I bought them at Magruders, which used to be a local grocery chain. This summer the other stores were closed, but the DC store stayed open, thankfully. The tomatoes were reported to come from nearby Montgomery County, Md. and probably did, but they didn't taste like much.
Instead of finely chopping, as the directions order the cook to do, I ran the peeled tomatoes through the food processor. Peeled tomatoes are slippery and messy. You want soup, make soup, which the food processor is admirably designed to do. One peels the tomatoes by dumping them in boiling water for two minutes or so. The peels come right off. I don't know why the recipe calls for baking soda. It makes everything fizz like crazy for a minute or so.
I made the recipe gluten free by using the gluten free bread crumbs. I was going to mash up water biscuits to make the crumbs and forget about gluten free, but Bob said put in the bread crumbs. It seemed to work fine. As far as amounts go, I probably threw in half a cup.
The soup seemed to be moderately well received. The guests did not go into transports over it, but they ate it. If you have a particularly flavorful source of tomatoes, tell us about them, and your experiences with this recipe.

Tomato Soup

4 cups finely chopped, peeled tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups light cream or milk
2 large soda crackers, made into fine crumbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely grated Cheddar cheese

1. Cook the tomatoes for about fifteen minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Add the baking soda and stir until it stops effervescing. 
2. stir in the cream or milk and the cracker crumbs. Reheat. Season with salt and pepper. Whirl in the butter.
3. Serve in hot bowls and sprinkle one tablespoon of the cheese over each serving. Makes four servings.

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