I do not like tomato soup. I love grilled cheese, but even grilled cheese cannot redeem tomato soup. And yet tomato soup was the second soup I decided to hazard in my vegetable soup-making quest. For one thing, the picture of "Italian Tomato Soup" in Ms. Forster's Soups book didn't look like Campbell's. It looked redder, and chunkier. And spicy! So I made the soup-- and it didn't look red, or chunky, or spicy. It looked like Campbell's. But it actually tasted heavenly! Especially when I added bottled artichokes the next day.
Creamy Tomato Soup
1 T olive oil
2 T butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
6 tomatoes (2 lbs?), coarsely chopped
3 c chicken stock
1/2 c nonalcoholic white cooking wine
2 T tomato paste
1 T shreeded fresh basil
1 c heavy cream
Heat oil and butter in pan until foaming. Add onion and saute 5 minutes, until softened but not brown. Stir in tomatoes and garlic, then add the stock, cooking wine, and tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat, half-cover pan, and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring now and then so that the tomatoes won't stick. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup somewhat. Add the heavy cream and heat through, stirring. Do not allow the soup to near a boil ever again. Adjust the seasoning and the consistency with stock, if desired.