One of our readers, Donna, found that my family was from Redmond, Utah. She mentioned her Great Aunt Geniel Bowers participated in making a ward cookbook in Redmond. Even though I do have many of my grandmother, and great-grandmother's recipes, I don't have a copy of any Redmond Ward cookbooks. My immediate family hasn't lived in Redmond for well over sixty years.
Specifically she asked about a recipe for canned tomato soup. I scoured my family recipes, but I'm afraid I couldn't find anything. Looking through some older cookbooks, though, I did come across this recipe. I've updated some of the direction to suit the modern kitchen, and my own taste.
Donna, I hope it will be a good substitute until you can find your aunt's recipe. If you do find it, let me know. I'd love to share it, here.
Either an immersion blender, standing blender, food processor, or food mill.
6 pint canning jars, with lids and rings
4 quarts peeled, cored, and chopped tomatoes (about 24 large tomatoes)
3 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped red bell pepper (about 4 medium peppers)
1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced (about 3 medium carots)
Salt and pepper as needed.
1 teaspoon dried basil (or 2 teaspoons fresh chopped basil)
1 bay leaf.
cooking oil as needed (I like olive oil for this)
Add a little oil to a large, hot, stock pot. Add the tomatoes and a dash of salt, and cook until soft. Remove from the pot.
Rinse the pot, dry, and reheat. Add a bit more oil, the onions, celery, pepper, carrots, and another small dash of salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until soft.
Return the tomatoes to the pot, with the vegetables. Add the dried basil. Using an immersion blender, puree the vegetables until smooth. Alternately, you can puree them in a standing blender, food processor, or food mill, although you'll have to do it batches.
Bring the heat back up boil, and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Add the bay leaf. Cover and cook slowly until the soup thickens, about 1 hour. Stir frequently to prevent sticking and to keep the cooking even. Add additional salt and pepper as needed - about 1 more teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper should do it. Make sure you taste as you go. You don't want the salt or pepper to overpower the vegetables. Remove from the heat, and remove the bay leaf.
Pour into clean, hot, pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch of head-space, and seal with canning lids and rings. Process in a pressure canner for 20 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.
Yields about 6 pints.
For more information on pressure canning and food safety, visit the National Center of Home Food Preservation.
Picture by David Sawford