Essence of Tomato Soup

  • 1 lb red beans
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped, divided
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pickling spice
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup green beans, finely chopped
  • salt to taste

Put the beans and tomatoes into a kettle with 4 quarts of water. Chop the celery, reserving 1/2 cup. Add the celery, onion, tomato juice and spices to the mixture in the kettle. Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for three hours, reducing the liquid to about 3 quarts. In a separate saucepan, cook the carrots, green beans, and reserved celery in 2 cups of the soup broth. When the vegetables are cooked, strain the broth and return it to the soup kettle. Strain the soup through a double thickness of cheesecloth. Salt to taste and garnish with cooked vegetables. Serve hot or cold.

  • Yields: 6 to 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: about 4 hours, but you don't have to watch it simmer the whole time!

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