We ate at Vernon's Hidden Valley Steakhouse this past Sunday in Albuquerque. It's set up like a speakeasy. The restaurant's unmarked, you have to have a secret password at the door to get in, and if you're lucky enough to finally find it and be let in, your eyes have to adjust to the dark. It's an incredible locally owned restaurant that takes you back to a different era in time. 

One of the best things we had at Vernon's was an heirloom tomato soup. 
It was so good, this evening I tried to recreate it. Although it's different than the Vernon's soup, this soup is really good!

6 servings

2 lbs tomatoes (heirloom or other)
2 cubes beef or vegetable bouillon, crumbed
1 T sugar
1 t salt
1 bay leaf
1/4 t basil
1/4 t ground pepper
1/2 C butter
1/3 C flour
1 qt milk or half & half

Run tomatoes through a food mill to remove the seeds and skins OR add chopped tomatoes into the pot with 1 C water and puree with hand blender or in a blender then run through a sieve to remove all solids. Discard solids.

Add tomato puree in the pot over medium heat. Stir in bouillon, sugar, salt, bay leaf, basil and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

In a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour all at once to form a roux, cook 1 minutes. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, cooking and stirring constantly until thickened. 

Stir into tomato mixture and heat through.


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