Spicy Tomato Soup

From Cooking with Paula Deen, Mar/Apr 2006

Spicy Tomato Soup
  1. 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  2. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1 medium onion, diced
  4. 2 cloves garlic, diced
  5. 3 cups canned chicken broth
  6. 1 (29-ounce) can tomato sauce
  7. 1 (29-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
  8. 2 dashes hot sauce
  9. 1/4 cup honey
  10. 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
  11. 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  12. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  13. 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  14. Homemade Croutons (optional)
  1. In a 4-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt half (51/2 tablespoons) of butter. When melted, whisk in the flour and stir until very smooth. Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, until very thick and smooth.
  2. In a small skillet, melt the remaining butter. Sauté the onion and garlic over low heat until the onion is translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic to the flour mixture and combine. Slowly add the chicken broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition and allowing the soup to thicken slightly before adding more broth. When all the broth is added, add the tomato sauce and the diced tomatoes, 1 cup at a time, stirring well and allowing the mixture to thicken before adding more. When all the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes have been added, season soup with hot sauce, honey, dill weed, pepper, chili powder, and basil. Allow to simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes so that the flavors can blend. Stir frequently, as the soup will stick to the bottom of the pot. Garnish with Homemade Croutons, if desired.
Makes 4 servings