Well, there's more to it than a tin of Campbell's Cream of Tomato Soup and an egg sandwich in a cardboard sleeve. There are some people sitting at a table in a dining hall, right now, directly under the room in which I sit typing who are in agreement with me that this is a first class summer meal. After making the soup I figured out how to simplify the method so that it could be made in 15 minutes. But it took me almost an hour of experimentation to come up with the right combination of flavours and appease my self-appointed food critic.

To make it you will need
One tin of crushed plum tomatoes (or diced fresh tomatoes if you have them)
One poblano pepper finely chopped
One red bell pepper finely chopped
Two white onions
Two cloves fresh garlic, minced.
One jalapeno, minced
2 cups Vegetable stock
2 tablespoons buttermilk or yogurt (buttermilk is preferable)
¾ teaspoon whole cumin seed
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
two teaspoons dried basil
one teaspoon dried oregano
Ground white pepper
Salt to taste

Now do this with all of that
Sauté the onions, red pepper, and poblano pepper in soup pot in a mixture of butter and extra virgin olive oil until they are well cooked. Then add the cumin seed, ancho chili powder, jalapeno, and minced garlic and cook until they become fragrant. Pour in the tin of crushed tomatoes, add the basil and oregano and allow to cook for a few minutes. Then blend the entire pot, transferring the blended soup to a mixing bowl. Place a wire-mesh strainer over the empty soup pot and pour the soup through it, using a rubber spatula to push as much of it through the mesh as possible.

Now add the vegetable stock. Bring it up to a boil and add white pepper and salt to taste. Allow to cook for a few more minutes. Then lower the heat to a simmer. Once the temperature of the soup has dropped below boiling, stir in the buttermilk. The buttermilk will neutralize the acidity of the tomatoes and provides a slight tang that works well with the other ingredients, but don’t boil it or it will separate on you and look nasty.

I garnished the soup with some finely chopped seeded plum tomatoes and a swirl of buttermilk.

This goes perfectly with egg salad (see THE Egg Salad Sandwich for an egg salad recipe), warmed tortillas, crispy Romaine lettuce, kosher dills and olives all arranged on nice plates so that people can make their own sandwiches.

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