Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped red onions (2 onions)
- 2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
- 4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped (5 large)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves, plus julienned basil leaves, for garnish
- 3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt (use less – about 2 t.)
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (use less – about 1 t)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream (1/2 and 1/2 worked fine)
- Croutons, for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.
Add the cream to the soup and process it through a food mill into a bowl, discarding only the dry pulp that’s left. Reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve with julienned basil leaves and/or croutons.