This creamy, vibrant red soup has but 100 calories per serving if you use low-fat milk and no cream.
PLACE THE MILK, ONION, peppercorns, salt and bouquet garni in a saucepan and bring slowly to a boil. Form a smooth paste of the rice flour and the cold milk. Put into the just-boiling milk and stir briskly until there are no lumps. Simmer over very low heat for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the sun-dried tomatoes in the 2 cups of water; do not drain. Strain the milk mixture, add the tomatoes and their liquid, and simmer another 5 minutes. In a blender, in batches, liquefy the soup. Return to the stove and bring just to a boil. Add the optional cream, if desired, and serve in hot bowls garnished with a minced green herb.