The first thing I learned to cook when I was just a young child was homemade fresh tomato soup. My great grandmother took me out to find the best and most plump ripe garden tomatoes to make this creamy, and velvety soup. I had had canned soup before, but nothing like this AMAZING soup! I was hooked! I could not wait until we could go out and get some more tomatoes to make another pot of soup! It was summertime and most people think of soup as a cold weather item, not me! I just LOVE this soup anytime of the year, but especially when the tomatoes are fresh out of the garden!
1. In a large soup pot, bring water to boil. Add tomatoes, celery, onion, oregano, basil, brown sugar (or other suggested sugar or substitute), and water. Reduce heat, cover pot with lid and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Put tomato mixture into a blender (be careful because hot soup can pop the lid off and burn you), or push through a sieve instead. When smooth, put back into soup pot and set tomato mixture aside.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, add cream cheese and blend in flour until smooth. Next slowly stir in 2 cups half and half, continue to stir until milk mixture thickens.
3. Pour milk mixture into soup pot with tomato mixture. While soup is simmering, slowly add the remaining cup of half & half to bring tomato soup to desire consistency. As a final touch, season soup with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to preferred taste and serve tomato soup in soup bowls. Enjoy!
Serving suggestions: Serve with your favorite kind of crackers, pita chips, or toasted bread points.