6lb canned, crushed tomatoes (I used the industrial sized can from Sam's Club - it was only $2)
1 pint half & half or cream
1 stick butter
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch fresh basil -OR- 3-4T pesto
1/2 can of OJ concentrate - DO NOT add water
1C chicken stock
salt and pepper
1. Chop onion and garlic, saute in stock pot with butter until onion becomes translucent. Meanwhile, get out your blender or food processor.
2. Puree the onions, garlic and butter. Start adding tomatoes 1 C at a time to the blender, puree until smooth and pour into large stock pot. Continue working in batches until all of the tomatoes are pureed. Be sure to toss in your fresh basil or pesto with some tomatoes and puree as well.
3. Place on stove top over low heat. Add cream, OJ concentrate (just the concentrate, do not add water), chicken stock and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Let simmer for 2-3 hours, the longer the simmer at the lowest heat makes the best soups.
5. Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches - My fav uses the No-knead bread recipe I have posted here - topped with smoked gouda and apple slices.
**Add apples to the puree mixture for a sweeter soup.
**Add 2C of cooked, pureed carrots for a heartier soup.
This soup freezes very well.