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Summertime Tomato-Basil Soup

Creamy, chunky, intense and sweet--tastes like it's straight out of a hot summer garden. Serve hot or cold in small portions to 4 people.

  • 1 28-oz. cans of peeled tomatoes (or 4 lbs. fresh tomatoes, peeled, cut up into a cup of water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, rubbed between your palms
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 6 leaves of fresh basil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Garnish: 2 fresh, ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded and cut into bite-sized strips--and 1 cup of fresh basil leaves, minced.

Cut the tomatoes cup in a saucepan with either their juice (if canned) or the water. Stir in the oregano, fresh basil, about 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and onion; bring to a boil; then reduce heat to medium high and cook, stirring, for about 25 minutes. Make sure the tomatoes don't burn on the bottom.

Puree, then return mixture to pan and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 Tablespoon of sugar, and more pepper to taste. Let cool.

When ready to serve, stir in the cream, the minced basil leaves, and fold in the tomato chunks. Taste for seasoning. Ladle into bowls. If you are going to serve hot, heat just to a simmer and ladle into bowls.