Canned tomato soup is one of the great blessings of modem life -- beautifully smooth, zesty, comforting, and cheap -- available anywhere, infinitely adaptable. But in August, September, and October, when your garden burgeons with fat, ripe fruits, you should consider this fleeting, perfect, homemade soup.
Melt butter in a soup pot. Rinse tomatoes and cut in pieces. Discard the seeds that are easily removable without losing too much juice. Put tomatoes into the pot and simmer gently as you add the garlic and flour, then gradually stir in enough milk to make a cream soup of medium thickness. Cut in the herbs which are abundant in late summer -- basil, parsley, chervil, chives -- and serve with the tomatoes still in big pieces and tasting of the garden. This is good hot or cold.
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