Tomato Basil Soup

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(serves 8-10)

¼ C olive oil

8 cloves garlic, halved

2 small yellow onions, chopped

 

2 T tomato paste

1 C red wine

 

½ C sun-dried tomatoes

2 – 28 ounce cans of diced San Marzano tomatoes

4 C cherub tomatoes

4 C boxed vegetable stock (unsalted)

1 C fresh basil leaves, packed

1 t salt

1 t red pepper flakes

1 T sugar

 

Preheat a soup pot over medium high heat. (Make sure that you use a non-reactive pot. Stainless is perfect.) Add oil, onions and garlic. Reduce heat to a nice simmer and continue to cook until garlic and onions develop some golden coloring. (pic) Add a pinch of salt. Add tomato paste into pot and mix in well and continue to simmer until tomato bits form on the bottom of the pan. Pour in red wine and scrape up any bits as the liquid begins to thicken to a syrupy consistency. (pic) Add canned tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, cherubs, vegetable stock, basil, salt, red pepper and sugar. Bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until cherubs wilt – 30-45 minutes. Remove soup from heat and allow cooling. Refrigerate uncovered until the soup is cool enough to puree in a blender. My suggestion is to make the soup a day ahead. Puree the next day and reheat for service. Again, soup almost always benefits from an overnighter in the fridge. Puree the chilled soup in a blender until smooth. If you object to seeds, you can puree the soup through a food mill. Reheat and serve with Texas-sized croutons and additional fresh basil leaves. If you prefer a thinner consistency to the soup, add additional vegetable stock or water.

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