Tomato Soup has always been my favorite and this recipe from my Nanie is one of my very favorites. My Nanie never measured anything when she cooked. She used the tried and true method of instinct, taste, common sense, trust, and confidence in her own ability, and that is how she taught me. I have come as close to exact measurements in recreating this recipe as I can. The only ingredient I was unable to duplicate exactly was the love she put in every dish she made, but I added my own and it came close. So if you make this add a little love of your own and I'm sure it will turn out just fine.
In a Dutch Oven (preferably cast iron) or a large saucepan, heat butter over medium-low heat. Do not allow it to burn. Add the chopped onions and chopped celery; cook, stirring until tender and translucent.
Stir the flour into the vegetable mixture, stirring until well mixed. Slowly pour the milk into the flour vegetable mix stirring to combine; add the sugar, salt, and pepper. Continue to heat on medium-low stirring frequently until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Keep a close watch and do not allow the mixture to scorch.
Heat tomatoes in a separate pan, If using can tomatoes you may want to dice smaller or slightly puree in a blender or food processor before heating.
Once the tomatoes are heated through gradually add them to the first mixture, stirring constantly, until well blended. At this point taste and adjust seasonings to suit your palate.
Garnish with fresh grated parmesan cheese and/or fresh sliced basil leaves, if desired. I like both.
Serve this along side a grilled cheese sandwich and you have a match made in heaven.
A special thanks to my Nanie for this recipe and many more as well as all of the fond memories and love associated with every meal she prepared for those she loved.