Monday, February 7, 2011

M’m! M’m! Good!

Way back when I was a wee snip of a girl, one of the many disputes I had with my big sister was who got to use which soup spoon.  I know that sounds silly but these weren’t just any soup spoons.  Our soup spoons were topped with the chubby cheeked cherubs of the Campbell Soup Company . . . Bobby Blake and Dolly Drake . . . also known as the Campbell Kids.    Many a row was had over the spoons and, although I don’t recall the outcome of each and every “discussion”, I’m guessing I ended up with Bobby more than I did Dolly.

In 1904, Campbell started using the Kids in the advertisements they placed on trolley cars.  With their rosy apple cheeks and their plump little bodies, it’s safe to say that the Kids are probably one of the most well known advertising characters ever. 

Early on the Kids “supported” the war efforts by donning Red Cross uniforms and urging Grace Drayton Americans to "Buy War Bonds."  They’ve been doctors, nurses, firemen, postmen and more.  Most recently they’ve gone from dimple kneed scamps to slimmed down youngsters playing soccer, riding a skateboard, or doing gymnastics

My image of them will always be the vintage Kids.  They invoke memories of cold winter days where the best lunch I can think of would be a steaming bowl of Campbell’s tomato soup in which to dunk a gooey grilled cheese sandwich.

M’m! M’m! Good!


Recently, I got snowed in on a snowy winter day . . . nearly two feet of snow and I wasn't going anywhere.  My husband, on the other hand, had to go to work because he's does snow removal.  I wanted to make him something warm, soothing and comforting to come home to.  I decided to make a fresh tomato soup from the tomatoes I had canned from our garden last season.  I also baked up a loaf of soft bread to make grilled cheese sandwiches.  It doesn't get much better than that.  Yummers!


Cher’s Fresh Sherried Tomato Soup

Fresh and simple.  This recipe was made with the tomatoes and tomato juice I jarred fresh from our garden.  Because of that, this soup was fulfilling on a number of levels.  You can substitute canned tomatoes, of course.

4 Cups Chopped Fresh Tomatoes
2 Cups Tomato Sauce
1 Slice Onion
4 Whole Cloves
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup Cooking Sherry
4 Tablespoons Butter
4 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tbsp White Sugar, or To Taste
2 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper

In a stockpot, over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth and sherry to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium and add the tomatoes, onion, cloves.  
Return to a boil, and gently boil for about 20 minutes to blend all of the flavors. 

Remove from heat and run the mixture through a food mill into a large bowl, or pan.

Discard any stuff left over in the food mill (I used my Kitchenaid for this process)

In the now empty stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a roux, cooking until the roux is a medium brown. Gradually whisk in a bit of the tomato mixture, so that no lumps form, then stir in the rest. Season with sugar and salt, and adjust to taste.

Note:  The cloves add a distinct flavor that can be omitted for a more classic tasting soup.

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