Welcome to my laboratory! What started out to be a simple soup recipe morphed into a fun lab experiment.
Kid Rating on Final Product (strained with butter and flour): 2.5 out of 3 kids liked it
Do Again: Yes
I started with a recipe from Roni's Green Lite Bites and modified it. I noticed one of Roni's commentators, RG, mentioned using flour and butter, so I made half of the batch with flour and butter. And, either my blender isn't very good or I didn't blend long enough, but the puree's consistency wasn't as fine looking as Roni's, so I strained half of the batch.
Unstrained/No Butter/No Flour
Unstrained with Butter & Flour
Strained/No Butter/No Flour
Strained with Butter & Flour
Confused, yet? Here we go!
UNSTRAINED, NO BUTTER, NO FLOUR
15 Tomatoes (from farmers' market and friends garden -- thanks, Becky!)
1 small onion coarsely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 tsp kosher salt
2 T dried basil
1/2 tsp of sugar
|Tomatoes, salt, garlic, onion, basil, sugar|
(ignore flour and butter, I shifted gears after taking the picture)
Puree in blender (I did it in batches)
Add onion, garlic, and basil in blender (I added it to tomato batches) and blend until smooth
Bring to boiling
Add salt and sugar
Lower and simmer 1/2 hour
|Pink and foamy before cooking|
|Red after cooking|
5 y.o. - (I didn't bother testing him until we all chose our favorite version).
9 y.o. - "I like the texture, but it's a little sour like a tomato."
10 y.o. - Flavor is good but wishes it was smoother.
Hubby - (Unexcited) "Yeah, I guess."
Me - Wonderful flavor. I'd be happy with it as-is. It would be a good pasta sauce if it was thicker. --Which brings me to turning this recipe into a lab experiment.
UNSTRAINED WITH BUTTER AND FLOUR
To half of the above recipe/batch I added:
1/2 - 1 T Butter
1 T Flour
1/2 tsp sugar (to help that tomatoee taste my daughter spoke of)
Add the butter to the batch
Transfer some soup to a bowl and mix in the flour (to prevent lumps)
|1 T flour with some of the soup before mixing|
|Flour and soup after mixing. Now slowly stir this |
back into the soup pot.
Add the sugar.
Family Review of Unstrained With Butter and Flour:
9 y.o. - "It's a little better. Still a little sour."
10 y.o. - (Not available to test; playing at a friend's house).
Hubby - (Same look) "Yeah, OK."
Me - I like it.
To the other half of the Unstrained/No Butter/No Flour batch:
STRAINED, NO BUTTER, NO FLOUR
Using my grandmother's strainer that's probably at least 50 years old, I tried to press the soup's liquid through.
Family Review of Strained, No Butter, No Flour:
9 y.o. - "It's good." She liked the texture and flavor
Hubby - Seems thin.
Me - Great flavor. Very thin.
To half of the strained batch:
STRAINED WITH BUTTER AND FLOUR
1/2 - 1 T Butter - add to pot
1 T Flour - do as above (transfer a small amount of soup to a bowl, stir in flour, stir back into soup pot).
1/2 tsp sugar
Heat to boiling, stir occasionally
|The final result: smooth and thicker -- The Family Winner|
5 y.o. - "I love it!" And he did. He licked his bowl clean and finished Marie's after she changed her mind.
9 y.o. - At first: "It's good." Then after eating it a bit: "Still too bitter." (Skye, the 5 y.o. finished it).
10 y.o. - "I like it, but there's a little weird taste to it." Yeah, whatever. He went to town on it and gobbled it up.
Hubby - (with enthusiasm this time) "I like that one. Yeah. Thicker but smooth. I love it."
Me - It's good. I'm disappointed that I'm missing out on all the pulp and fiber that was strained away, and the yield wasn't much. The procedure had more steps in it than I was initially hoping for. I'll try Roni's again but try to blend it longer to see if I can make it smoother and keep the pulp.
We're not finished, yet. Do you remember the pulp in the strainer and the remaining batch of "Unstrained with Butter and Flour?" TOMATO SAUCE!
Add pulp to lonely, rejected batch of wannabe soup.
Add 1 tsp of sugar.
Heat and stir.
|Yum! I look forward to trying it with another meal.|
Update - On a different date, I tried pureeing the tomatoes in a blender for a longer duration -- much better. I used the puree for a chili recipe when I was out of canned tomato soup. I'll try the soup recipe again. I'm encouraged that my blender will do the job.