Rustic Tomato Basil Soup

Soup-Rustic Tomato Basil

Soup-Rustic Tomato Basil

(Makes four 1-cup servings)

Segue out of summer with this medley of fresh tomatoes, basil, bell pepper and Parmesan.  This soup calls for fresh produce, yet creates a warm, toasty meal for those wild and woolly nights that aren’t yet gentle as a lamb. Topped with a heaping spoonful of finely grated Parmesan and served with a mixed green salad and crusty bread,  you don’t need much else for a light spring supper.
Though this soup could be pureed, we like it a bit on the chunky side for a rustic character with flavorful bites of sautéed veggies.

INGREDIENTS

1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 orange or yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 medium-sized tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup basil leaves (8-10 leaves) thinly sliced
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half & half
11/2 teaspoons Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS
In a five to six-quart pot, sauté onions in olive oil over medium-high heat until soft and beginning to brown. Add garlic, bell pepper and celery to onion in pot. Continue to cook for about four to five more minutes over medium-high heat. Celery and bell pepper should still be somewhat crunchy. Add tomatoes and basil, and cook just until heated through, stirring the veggies several times to mix. Add chicken broth, half & half and balsamic vinegar and heat mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish soup with one to two tablespoons grated Parmesan and serve hot with crusty French bread.

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