I have to admit I never cared for canned tomato soup. My husband knows this as it is a noticeably absent from our pantry whenever he looks for it. I do, however, like tomato soup. I have tried different recipes and this recipe by Michael Chiarello from Food Network is by far my favorite. It is simple to make (and you can skip the step of roasting the tomatoes if you want), and I find myself making it over and over. It makes enough for two dinner portions, or four side portions. Or you can double the recipe and freeze the leftovers.

In addition if you don’t have a hand immersion blender, you can blend the soup in a normal blender (just make sure you take out the little top plastic piece and cover with a towel, so you don’t burn your hand).

Homemade Tomato Soup

Ingredients

* 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes

* 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

* 1 stalk celery, diced

* 1 small carrot, diced

* 1 yellow onion, diced

* 2 cloves garlic, minced

* 1 cup chicken broth

* 1 bay leaf

* 2 tablespoons butter

* 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

* 1/2 cup heavy cream, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Strain the chopped canned tomatoes, reserving the juices, and spread onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted chopped canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add basil and cream, if using. Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth.

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