Look, there are tomatoes number 4 and 5!
Fortunately, other gardeners fared much better than I did and shared their goodies with me. That, and I'm keeping the local farmer's market in business.
Here's the recipe, with credit to the Farmhouse Cookbook by Susan Herrmann Loomis. It's a cookbook well worth owning. I go back to it over and over for several recipes.
Sweet Cream of Tomato Soup
3 medium onions, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup water
1/2 bunch celery (about 6 ribs), trimmed and chopped
6 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons coarse (kosher) salt
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
1. Place onions and water in a large heavy soup pot over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, until onions have softened and have begun to turn translucent, about 10 minutes. Be sure onions don't brown.
2. Add the celery, tomatoes and salt to the onions, stir, and raise heat to medium. Cook, covered, until the tomatoes are tender, about 1 hour. Taste and add sugar to smooth out the flavor. Cook another 5 minutes.
3. In a small bowl mix together butter and flour until thoroughly combined.
4. Strain the soup, discarding solids. Return soup to pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir 1 cup of soup into flour and butter mixture, whisking until there are no lumps. Then whisk that mixture into the soup. Lower heat and cook gently, stirring frequently, until soup has consistency of medium-thick gravy, about 8 minutes. Let it come just to the boiling point, but do not boil.
5. Heat milk in a small pan over medium heat until it is almost to the boiling point. Slowly add the milk to soup (do not let the soup boil, or it may curdle). Stir well and serve.
12 cups (8-10 servings)
Note: The soup base (through step 4) may be canned or frozen. After thawing (if necessary) and reheating, add 1 cup hot milk to each 2 cups of soup base, as described in step 5.
This is a bit more homemade than the Oreo brownies (which probably wouldn't pass muster as a 4-H project). The recipe looks long, but it really is pretty simple. Trust me. If it weren't, I wouldn't be making it.
Make this soup. You'll thank me this winter when you pull this out of your freezer and enjoy the taste of summer.
Of course, you'll curse me next summer when you double the number of tomatoes you plant so you can make this soup...but at least you'll love me for a little while.