Scald tomatoes. Remove skins from tomatoes. Pulse in food processor to chop until diced.
Add tomatoes, all seasonings and sugar to large pot. Gently simmer for 20 minutes.
Saute onions in 2 Tablespoons butter until onions are tender. Add garlic during last minutes of sauteing. Once onions and garlic are tender add to tomatoes.
Melt remaining 4 Tablespoons butter in sauce pan. Add flour and stir together. Continue to cook over medium heat for a minute. Gradually add milk. Whisk to make sure there aren't any lumps. Continue cooking until thickened.
If you don't like chunks of tomatoes and onions in your soup, puree the tomato mixture. It's really good with hearty chunk's though!
Add white sauce to tomato mixture. Heat through.
Add half and half and cream. Stir together.
Garnish with Parmesan Cheese or fresh basil.
OMG! THIS IS SO GOOD!! Even if you aren't a huge fan of tomato soup or tomatoes in general, give this a try. it's creamy without being overpowering. LOVE IT!!!
Men of Honor: Rafe
Just as she'd poised to take the lid off the rest of her coffee and throw it at Scott, she spotted Rafe emerging from the fog. An avenging angel. Her angel.
Arms open wide, Rafe walked toward her in long, ground-eating strides. His tall, imposing frame was a welcome sight indeed. "Amanda! I should have known you'd migrate toward the caffeine." He never broke stride, just walked up to her and took her in his big, strong arms, swinging her around so that he was between her and Scott. Just as Scott stepped to the side to keep her in his line of sight, Rafe pressed his mouth to hers.
She was so shocked, all she could do was cling to his broad, muscular shoulders. The kiss seemed to brand her, body and soul. The simple act of pressing his lips to hers became anything but simple. When he licked the seam of her lips, she parted for him, letting his tongue delve into her mouth at will. Sensations swamped Amanda. Dizziness swept her up, feeling much like the alcohol of the night before. Which was when she realized she was hyperventilating.
When she pushed at Rafe's shoulders, he ended the kiss, setting her on her feet, but not letting her step away from his body. "I missed you, baby," he said in a low, seductive voice. "Come back with me. I'll take you home later."
"Rafe?" She needed to look up at him. Even knowing he'd done this for Scott's benefit, she still needed to see in his eyes that he hadn't been affected by that kiss. Shame and mortification filled her, knowing this was all an act. Still, she couldn't resist the magnetic pull of his gaze. With a deep breath for courage, she looked up into his eyes. Heat blazed so hot it nearly scorched her to the bones. Was that all an act too?
"Excuse me." Scott stepped closer, reaching for Amanda's arm. Rafe smoothly moved Amanda away from the other man, keeping a protective arm around her. "Do you want to explain why you're kissing my girlfriend?"
Rafe only grinned down at the shorter man. "She might have been yours at the beginning of the night last night, but she's my woman now." Rafe raised his chin a little, as if he were proud of the fact he'd just stated. "We both saw you with your other girlfriend last night." He made the term "girlfriend" sound childish and beneath him. Probably because Scott had used the term to describe Amanda. "Necking in the wings? That's a bit...amateurish, don't you think?"
Wow. The man already had Scott figured out. If anything could push his buttons, being called an amateur would.
"You better watch your mouth, buddy! I might give you a surprise or two." Scott loved to taunt her with how he'd earned a black belt in karate. Claimed he could hold his own in a fight and knew ways of hurting people she'd never even dreamed about. Amanda had the feeling Rafe could handle anything Scott wanted to dish out. As if on cue, Rafe urged her gently behind him to free up his hands. Now, he lost his easygoing demeanor and faced Scott with an expression so dark and menacing, her ex actually took a step backward before he could stop himself.
"Let's get a couple things straight, comedy boy. You want no part of me. You might think you do, but I guarantee you don't. Second, Amanda is mine. I protect what's mine."
God, she loved hearing that! Maybe it was Rafe's larger-than-life appearance. Maybe it was their kiss moments ago. Amanda had no idea which, but she wanted this man for herself. Sure, he'd royally pissed her off, but he'd also done everything in his power afterward to make her as comfortable as possible. Now, her mind and heart had latched onto him, imprinting his persona on her very being so that she knew no other man would ever do for her.