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Kittencal's Thick and Rich Creamy Tomato Soup (Low-Fat Option)

3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, very finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
4 garlic cloves, minced (or finely chopped)
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes (or adjust to taste)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
3 cups tomato juice, divided
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
3 -4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste, I use seasoned salt)
parmesan cheese (optional)
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
1 In a bowl combine 2 cups tomato juice with crushed tomatoes and milk.
2 In a saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat.
3 Add in onion and dried oregano; saute until softened (about 3 minutes).
4 Add in garlic and red pepper flakes; cook stirring for 2 minutes.
5 Add in flour and stir for 1 minute.
6 Slowly add in the tomato/milk mixture whisking constantly to remove any lumps; bring to a boil stirring frequently until bubbly and thickened, then season with sugar, salt and pepper (the mixture will be quite thick).
7 Reduce heat to low, add in remaining 1 cup of tomato juice (or more) and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour (can simmer longer if desired, if the soup is still too thick for your liking add in more tomato juice and keep seasoning with salt and pepper if needed during cooking).
8 Ladle into bowl then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and croutons if desired.
9 Delicious!

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