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Creamy Tomato Soup with Roasted Garlic

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Contributed by Horizon Organic

The tomato was once considered a powerful aphrodisiac.  Try this soup on Valentine's Day to warm you in more ways than one!

Yield: 5 Cups (About 4 Servings)

10 large cloves garlic, with skins
3 tablespoons Horizon Organic butter
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth, divided
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup Horizon Organic half-and-half
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place garlic cloves, still in their skins, on a baking sheet and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until very soft.  Set aside until cool enough to handle.  With a small, sharp knife, cut the end from each garlic clove.  Use your fingers to pinch the clove, squeezing out the soft garlic "paste" within.  Discard garlic skins.

Melt the butter in a large soup pot.  Add the onions and Italian seasoning and cook for about eight minutes, stirring often, until the onions are soft.  Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and roasted garlic and bring to a simmer.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Place the flour in a spacious bowl or measuring cup.  Slowly whisk in about one cup of the broth to form a smooth "slurry."  Stir the slurry into the soup pot, followed by the remaining two cups of broth.  (Using this slurry method to add flour prevents the flour from clumping.)

Increase the heat to bring the soup back to a simmer.  Reduce heat and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.  Transfer the soup, in batches, to a blender or food processor and process until smooth.  (If you have time, you may find it more convenient to let the soup cool before blending, since handling hot liquids can be tricky.  You might also consider buying an immersion blender, which blends liquids right in the cooking pot, if you do a lot of soup cooking.) 

After blending, return the soup to the pot and heat to a simmer.  Stir in the half-and-half and season as needed with additional salt and pepper.  Soup can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.  (In fact, the flavor improves with storage.)  Reheat on the stove.

Nutritional Information per serving:  Calories 194; Protein 6g; Fat 12g; Total Carbohydate 20g; Saturated Fat 7g; Cholesterol 31mg; Calcium 151mg (15% DV); Iron 3mg (16%DV); Sodium 1558mg; Vitamin A 1805 IU (36%DV); Vitamin C 39mg (65% DV)


 *Vegetarian, *Gluten-Free