Cream of Pimiento Soup



2 (4-ounce) jars diced pimiento, undrained

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans chicken broth

3 cups half-and-half

1 tablespoon grated onion

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

Garnish: chopped fresh chives



Process pimiento in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides; set aside.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; add 1/3 cup flour, and stir until mixture is smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.

Add chicken broth and half-and-half gradually to flour mixture; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly.

Stir in reserved pimiento, onion, salt, and hot sauce; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thoroughly heated. Cover and chill 8 hours.

To serve, cook soup over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish, if desired.

Makes 8 cups.